Body pans ministry over stray animals

The Life Conservationist Association yesterday criticized the Ministry of Education (MOE) for asking universities to deal with stray animals on campus in a rabies prevention effort, causing some schools to use inappropriate measures to capture the animals.

By Lee I-chia  /  TAIPEI TIMES

The association’s executive director, Ho Tsung-hsun (何宗勳), said all universities and colleges received an official document from the ministry in August, asking them to strengthen the management of stray dogs and cats on campus to prevent the spread of rabies, but without clear instructions on how to deal with the animals.

“Upon receiving the document, every school has gone its own way. Some are doing pretty good respecting animal lives, but some are taking inappropriate measures,” he said. “A better approach should be to create a natural defense system based on the animals’ natural behaviors, but some schools only try to capture as many as they can.”

Having surveyed more than a dozen universities, Ho said some schools use the inhumane method of asking city dog catchers to capture all stray animals on campus, adding that this approach leads to many animals being put to death at shelters.

In response, MOE official Han Shan-Min (韓善民) said the ministry did not ask the schools to get rid of the animals, but if some schools are found taking extreme measures, then it will issue another official document to the schools stressing disease prevention, ethical care for animals and life education.

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