In early 2022, there was good news about the upgrade of the Animal Protection Division (APD), which is widely welcome by animal lovers.
In Taiwan, with the implementation of the Animal Protection Act in 1998, the Animal Protection Division was urgently established under the Animal Husbandry Department within the establishment of the Ministry of Agriculture, but because the animal protection business and animal husbandry affairs are very different, coupled with the low level of the Animal Protection Division and the limited staff and funding available, the Division has been criticized for years.
At the end of 2021, it was first rumored that in addition to the Animal Protection Division, another division would be established to take charge of the animal protection business. In early 2022, it was finally announced that the Pet Management Division had passed the executive review and would soon be established with six full-time staff and $130 million in funding, which also shows that pets (companion animals) have become a primary concern for the government.
In response to the social trend that pets are like family members, the government will cooperate with other departments to provide human-like care for pets from birth, to food, clothing, housing and transportation. Four major objectives are set of the Pet Management Division.
(1) To understand the market development model for pets, such as pet grooming, pet food, pet training, pet babysitting, pet insurance, and pet memorial, and to empower the appropriate management development mechanism.
(2) To improve the animal show management mechanism, including professional review, audits, regular evaluation, and law enforcement.
(3) Promote an animal-friendly information management system, cultivate pet industry professionals, and strengthen the industry’s self-regulatory ability and consumer education.
(4) Construct a pet classification management system and establish a black list and a white list of pets according to invasiveness of species, epidemic prevention and animal welfare.
In addition, because of the international trend of exotic pets, coupled with the exotic species of green iguana because of the abandonment of owners, causing serious harm in Taiwan, one of the first tasks of the Pet Management Division is to inventory the species of animals currently imported for sale as pets, and then establish a list of adoptable and non-adoptable, and then develop a blacklist of non-importable and non-adoptable.
In fact, the pet registration system has been in place since 1999, after more than 20 years there are still 40% of owners who do not abide by the law, whether it is deliberate avoidance or ignorance, it shows that there is room for improvement for the government promotion, investigation and detection. Hopefully after the Pet Management Division is in place, these aspects can be strengthened, so that the number of stray or abandoned dogs would decrease.