Animal Protection Act Amendment: Protection of performing animals and aggravation of animal abuse penalties

Animal Protection Act Amendment: Protection of performing animals and aggravation of animal abuse penalties

Submitted by Yu-Ling Lin

Translated by Amber Gong

Animal Protection Acthas been implemented for 17 years, and the third reading of its revised draft was finally passed by Legislative Yuan on January 23 2015. The revision amounts to 25 clauses, including the abolishment of “12 Nights Regulation” (If an animal kept in shelter is not claimed or adopted over 12 days, it would be euthanized), reinforcement of the owners’ liabilities, aggravation of animal abuse penalties, protection of performing animals, permission for veterinaries to apply human medication and such. The primary proposer Yu-Ming Wang (王育敏), a KMT legislator, expressed her gratitude toward the valuable suggestions provided by animal protection associations such as Life Conservationist Association (LCA), Taiwan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TSPCA),Cats, Dogs People Association and so on. She also stated that it was a great comfort to see the third reading of this crucial Act concerning the safeguard of animal rights was passed before the end of this session, and it makes Taiwan an animal-friendly country.

The followings are the key points of the revised Animal Protection Act:

1. No More 12 Nights: To call off “12 Nights Regulation” and to legislate a two-year sunrise clause indicating that only when diagnosed with contagious diseases or incurable illness can the animals be euthanized. Additionally, Executive Yuan has respectively approved the budget of 1.58 billion NTD for “Improving Animal Shelter Management Program” and 729 million NTD for “Increasing Administrative Efficiency of Animal Protection Program,” hoping that the local governments can coordinate with the central government for preparation of no-kill policy and to improve the sheltering environment, promote pet registration, sterilization and adoption rate. Furthermore, the public can adopt the animals without recognizable identities if the animals are not reclaimed by the original owners after 7 days. 

2. Aggravation of animal abuse penalties: To increase the fines and penalties of animal abuse and to declare new provisions: the party who intends to suspend keeping, abandon, harass and abuse animals shall not be allowed to keep or adopt animals, and would be required to attend implementation or animal protection lectures. Besides, the whistleblower shall be guaranteed to be anonymous and acquire rewards. On the other hand, the local government shall outsource for animal protection inspects. Only the professional trained can aid police officers in investigating animal protection cases and elevate the processing efficiency of potential animal abuse cases.   

3. Reinforcement of the owners’ liabilities: The revised Animal Protection Act holds a higher standard of pet-keeping environment than that of the prior Act. For example, the owners are required to offer all-day clean and adequate water; the restricted range of the cages or chains has to be sufficient for the pets to move around. Except for sterilization, the owners shall not have their pets undergo unnecessary or non-medically significant surgeries, including vocal cords slitting, ears piercing, tails docking and so on. Also, the owners shall be obliged to have the pets implemented with chips and sterilized; if not, the owners are obliged to propose reproduction enunciations to the government. 

4. Permission for veterinaries to apply human medication: according to the prior regulations, veterinary medication was mainly aimed for the usage of large economic animals, so the dose and other aspects relating to it do not meet the needs of household pets. After the revised Act is passed, the dilemma of unavailable medication for the veterinaries will be solved; moreover, on the basis of international practice, veterinaries are allowed to utilize human medication with identical ingredients to remedy animals when veterinary medication is insufficient. 

5. No party shall trade particular pets without license: “Adopt rather than purchase” has already been the established government policy; after the revised Act hits the road, no party shall trade particular pets. Any person who operates the pet breeding, trading or fostering industry of specific pets for profits shall apply for a license to the municipal or county (city) competent authority and obtain the business license pursuant to applicable laws before such operation. The central authority, on the other hand, shall establish operating procedure relating to the public’s application for the management of reproduction and breeding enunciations.  

6. Pet food Act: The revised Act adds the regulations regarding pet food manufacturing, process and importing industries. In the future, related industries will have to not only report to the government but also follow package regulations. The violators will be requested to recall and remove the products off the shelves. The government will also enter the industry sites to examine and sample in order to intensify the management of pet food source and maintain the pets’ health and the owners’ rights. 

7. Protection of performing animals: The industries of performing animals are obliged to apply for licenses from the government and operate based on the management measures. As for the existing industries, it is required for them to apply for the licenses within one year from the day the revised Act is carried out. If not, the violating industries shall not be permitted to proceed operating. The revised Act also emphasizes that the industries shall not make the wild animals carry out any forms of performances in attempt to prevent the tragedy of “A Ho’s tears” from happening again.

*A Ho’s tears: A hippo named A Ho was killed by unsafe mode of transport, when he fell down from the truck, he wept.  The whole country was shocked by this sad incident.


Resource: 動保法修正:展演動物受保護、虐待動物加重罰責!| ETtoday寵物動物新聞| ETtoday 新聞雲

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