Three Important Meetings on Animal Welfare to Farewell 2021

As the year 2021 draws to a close, the epidemic in Taiwan has subsided, and despite the joyous Christmas carols in the stores and the red Christmas hats on the streets, this is not the time for fundraising sales.

Eight animal protection groups in Taiwan, including the World Dog Alliance, jointly held the first animal protection conference on December 29, 2021. The conference lays the groundwork for NGOs to talk to senior government officials on animal welfare topics. The public hearing on the second anniversary of the White Paper on Animal Welfare was held on December 21 in the legislature building.

The law has been amended 16 times since it was first enacted in 1998, but all amendments were made in a piecemeal approach to respond to public outcry, without really perfecting the framework as a whole. A number of animal protection groups have therefore formed a coalition to review the suitability of the animal protection law for amendments. The whole process will continue from May 2019 to August 30, 2020, temporarily named the “Public Version of the Animal Protection Act”. Many of the amendments incorporate advanced concepts, and members of the coalition know that it is impossible to replace the existing animal protection law, and only hope that the government would adopt it gradually.

The government’s position on the “Public Version of the Animal Protection Act” at the December 14 public hearing is that it cannot be achieved in one step, but hopefully “gradual progress” can be made. However, no specific comments were made, so it is clear that more communications are needed.

The public hearing was well attended by animal protection groups and government departments.

The White Paper on Animal Welfare, probably unfamiliar to the general public, is a benchmark for the implementation of animal welfare policies in Taiwan and encourages innovative scientific research to enhance animal welfare.

In accordance with Article 4 of the Animal Welfare Act, the White Paper on Animal Welfare should be reviewed on a quarterly basis, but no review meeting has been held by the authorities in the past two years. 

The animal protection groups in attendance pointed out the major shortcomings in the executive branch’s implementation: a high degree of division of labor and a low degree of integration, with each department doing its own thing and lacking cross-field integration.

The National Conference on Animal Protection will be held on December 29. In the morning, the animal protection groups will present their reports on 12 key issues, and in the afternoon, the legislators will deliver their speeches and finally announce the conference declaration.