Taiwan Focus – Taiwan Volunteers Fight against Animal Cruelty

Fortunately, there are animal protection volunteers who are persistent in advocating on their behalf and demanding a new law to protect them.

Independent volunteers, who are not affiliated with any animal protection organisations, can only devote their limited time to animal protection, but their performance and merits are even more impressive than those of full-time workers.

On 12 May 2022, a pet rat, which had a fractured vertebrae, was dumped as rubbish by its owner. The owner was definitely not able to get away with it and escaped the sanctions of the Animal Protection Act. According to the law, the crime of animal cruelty is punishable by up to two years’ imprisonment or detention and a fine of not less than TWD 200,000 and not more than TWD 2 million.

With this image and the approximate location on the left, an animal volunteer used Google Map to match the correct address and rescue the pet rat on the right, making it impossible for the offender to get away with the crime.

On 20 May 2022, animal volunteer Jerry, and four lawmakers jointly held a press conference to introduce the hog traps (spring traps with metal ropes that are mainly used to hunt hogs) which do not only kill wild animals, but also stray dogs. There have been cases of Taiwanese black bears being trapped twice, dogs that have lost three legs and, of course, animals that were not rescued in time and lost their lives.

Jerry is a designer living on mountains, where the use of hog traps is widespread, and has personally rescued three stray dogs with severed limbs.

Jerry (left) cannot bear to see stray dogs in mountainous areas being harmed by mountain hogs and is persistent in demanding the government to amend the law to ban these horrific trap hunting devices.

In January 2021, he first proposed legislation to ban the sale of mountain hog cranes. Within three weeks, over 5,000 people voted for the proposal, which led the authorities to hold a public meeting to respond, promising to amend the law to regulate the use of hog cranes and to develop precision hunting equipment to avoid accidentally injuring other animals.

At a press conference on May 20, not only did the four members of the legislature unanimously support amending the law to strictly regulate the manufacture, sale, display and export of mountain cranes, but the authorities also stated that they would propose an amended version of the law in 2021, but unfortunately it has been stuck and has not yet been sent to the legislature.

However, with Jerry’s persistent efforts, this long-delayed initiative to amend the law is expected to make great strides forward in the near future.