Taiwan Focus – Taiwan Proposes to Save Animals in Disasters

Animals are often either forgotten or sacrificed in natural disasters and wars.

Many people were brought to tears when they saw the people of Ukraine fleeing from their homes with their dogs and cats in wars. People who put their own safety at risk and ignore their companion animals will never be forgiven, while those who give up their chance to escape because they don’t want to leave their animals behind will be respected and remembered forever! A real case in Taiwan has provided an opportunity to amend the Disaster Rescue Act for animals.

In 2009, Typhoon Morakot devastated Taiwan, causing severe damage and leaving behind a number of stories that are close to people’s hearts. When rescuers went to find the dead body of a dog owner, they saw six dogs surrounding him. The story went viral and many people were moved by the love between dogs and humans, but also determined to prevent the same tragedy.

In 2020, a number of animal protection groups, including the World Dog Alliance (WDA), joined together to call for animal humane rescue, including amending the Disaster Rescue Act to include animal humane rescue, and amending a special section on animal humane rescue in the Animal Protection Act. The amendments were considered together on 4 and 5 May 2022.

The legislature stated in the proposal that “Taiwan is located in an earthquake zone and is subject to typhoons and heavy rains almost every year. The disaster rescue plan should cover animals that are legally required to be protected.”

Unfortunately, the amendment was not passed, but only an accompanying resolution requiring disaster rescue authorities and animal protection authorities to consider the inclusion of animal rescue in disaster rescue plans and disaster response measures to facilitate subsequent legislation.

In fact, the founder of WDA, Genlin, has always been concerned about the rescue and re-homing of animals in disasters. I believe that this is also the unanimous wish of those who care about animal welfare!