[Taiwan Spotlight] Animal Protection in Taiwan

2020 is a year of uncertainty and disasters for human and animal alike. Nevertheless, animal activists have made major breakthroughs with their perseverance. Taking the opportunity of the “Glorious October”, which has symbolic meaning in Chinese culture, we want to share with you World Dog Alliance’s achievements and recent animal protection progress in Taiwan.

●Forming “Animal Protection Legislation Campaign Alliance” by uniting like-minded organizations

World Dog Alliance collaborates with Life Conservationist Association, Animal Protection Association of the Republic of China, Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan,  Taiwan Animal Protection Monitor Network and three other groups to establish “Animal Protection Legislation Campaign Alliance”, proposing 8 major legislative demands:

1.         Enshrinement of animal rights in the Constitution

2.         Solatium for animal injury

3.         Animal protection police

4.         Humane animal rescue

5.        Animal science information disclosure and resources sharing

6.         Professional training for laboratory animal veterinarian

7.         Animal-friendly production system for livestock, poultry and fish

8.         Promotion of veganism

●Enshrinement of animal protection in the Constitution

The priority of Animal Protection Legislation Campaign Alliance is to enshrine animal protection in the Constitution, as did Germany back in 2002. In addition to drafting constitutional provisions, the Alliance has been lobbying in the Legislative Yuan and raising public awareness of the matter.

26th February 2020 – The “Animal Protection Spring Tea Party” was held to explain the 8 legislative demands to legislators from the four major political parties.

22nd April 2020 – The Animal Protection Legislation Campaign Alliance visited the People’s Party Legislative Yuan Caucus. General Caller Lai Xiangling and other four members pledged their support for the introduction of animal protection into the constitution.

6th May 2020 – The Animal Protection Legislation Campaign Alliance met with the KMT Legislative Yuan Caucus, and were greeted by Deputy Secretary Jiang Wanan and Lin Yihua. They are optimistic about the inclusion of animal protection into the constitution.

31st August 2020 – “The Animal Protection Legislative Campaign Alliance to Advocate the Enshrinement of Animal Protection into the Constitution Forum” was held at the Council of Agriculture. Participants including Researcher Qian Yongxiang from Academia Sinica, Professor Ye Lisen from National Taiwan University School of Veterinary Medicine, National Taiwan University Law Professor Li Maosheng, Soochow University Law School Professor Chen Ruyin and others did a thorough analysis on the pros and cons of including animal protection into the Constitution and how to formulate the provisions.

24th September 2020 – The Animal Protection Legislation Campaign Alliance met with Hong Shenhan, a member of the DPP Constitution Amendment Team and legislator. He agreed to arrange a visit to the DPP Legislative Yuan Caucus for our team. Mr. Hong suggested that legislators from four parties should jointly hold a public hearing on “enshrinement of animal protection into the Constitution” in late October 2020 to collect opinions from all stakeholders.

●Establishment of animal protection police

 In light of the increasing number of animal abuse cases in Taiwan, animal lovers have long been urging the government to set up an animal protection police force to handle animal-related criminal cases. However, since animal protection is under the administration of the Council of Agriculture, while law enforcement under the National Police Agency, the division of responsibility remains unclear and the animal protection police force has yet to be established, failing to meet public expectations. In 2020, animal activists see the opportunity to utilize the so-called “nomad police”, law enforcers who are not assigned to any specific unit, and have urged President Tsai Ing-wen to set up an animal protection police force for the nomad police to work in.

 24th February 2020 – “The First Seminar on the Establishment of Animal Protection Police” was held by personnel from the National Police Agency, Taiwan Animal Protection Monitor Network and representatives of animal protection organizations. Unable to reach a consensus, the participants agreed to appoint Professor Wu Zongxian from Tainan University to conduct a research on the necessity and feasibility of establishing the animal protection police.

17th March 2020 – The Animal Protection Legislation Campaign Alliance visited Ye Yulan, a member of the Legislative Yuan who once was a professor at the Central Police University. She pledged to help promote the establishment of the animal protection police force.

 21st September 2020 – “The Second Seminar on the Establishment of Animal Protection Police” was held at the Council of Agriculture. Professor Wu Zongxian published the first draft of his research report and proposed 12 preliminary suggestions. He will publish the final report and detailed plans in the near future. Animal organizations proposed a pilot scheme of setting up an animal protection police force in the city of Taipei.

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