Rats and Rabbits should be Treated as Pets in Taiwan

Dogs and cats are classified as “specified pets” under Taiwan’s Animal Protection Act. Their Breeders and traders are required to follow strict regulations, but those for rats and rabbits are not.

Taiwan’s Animal Protection Act defines “pets” as dogs, cats, and other animals kept or controlled for pleasure or companionship purposes. The law not only highlights the status of dogs and cats, but also regulates the breeding and trading of dogs and cats.

In recent years, there have been hospitals which accept rats and rabbits, but without the protection of the Animal Protection Act, they are often neglected, abandoned, and abused.

According to the Rat Friendly Society and the Rabbit Friendly Society, their plight includes:

(1) Gifts in night markets and mobile stalls 

Because of the dirty and noisy environment, the animals become stressed and even cause injuries and deaths.

(2) Owners without knowledge of breeding

Dog and cat breeders will warn each other to pay attention to the responsibility of the owner, and an important part of the owner’s responsibility is the knowledge of breeding, but the value of life is often neglected when it comes to rats and rabbits, and often leads to injuries and diseases due to the wrong way of breeding.

(3) Abandonment after over-breeding 

Rats and rabbits have a strong reproductive power, and if pet store staff do not give proper guidance, ignorant owners will soon face the problem of over-breeding. On average, a pair of rats can breed to hundreds in 3 to 4 months, and a pair of rabbits can give birth to 4 to 8 offsprings every month, so when the owner realizes that the house is full of rats and rabbits, he can only turn to the relevant organizations to clear them all out of the house.

Both rats and rabbits have a strong reproductive power, and owners who do not have enough knowledge about keeping them often face overpopulation of their rats and rabbits.

(4) Being shipped as goods

No one pays attention to the space and temperature they are in, and it is their good fortune to arrive safely at their destination.

With the upcoming establishment of the Pet Management Division of the Agriculture Commission, rat and rabbit lovers are no longer silent and have come forward to fight for the same treatment as dogs and cats, to establish regulations for breeding and trading, and to gradually improve the above phenomenon.

The World Dog Alliance believes that all animals should be treated well by humans and hopes to see the effectiveness of the Pet Management Section soon, establishing various breeding guidelines and not letting any kind of pets be neglected!