Newspaper article China Post

There Is Only One Reason for Which You Can't Kill Your Dog

Newspaper article China Post

There Is Only One Reason for Which You Can't Kill Your Dog

Article excerpt

In Taiwan, there are some legally permissible reasons for killing a dog. You may kill a dog for economic purposes - to get the meat, get the fur or to feed other animals, according to Article 12 of the Animal Protection Act.

Shelters can kill a dog if it is not claimed within 12 days of arrival. Other allowable reasons for killing a dog are for "scientific applications," "the control of animal diseases," to "free animals from pains of injuries or illnesses," to prevent "immediate danger to human lives, body, health, freedom, property or public safety." There is just one named purpose for which you may not kill a dog: to sell its carcass.

So it appears that current legal protection for strays is not yet endangered-species grade. In part, that's because there are - and have long been - too many strays by government measures.

In the legislative session that ended this week, lawmakers across party lines struck a rare consensus on another measure to curb the street animal population. The bill, which is tipped for a smooth passage, will legally require sterilization of all pet dogs and cats. Fewer puppies born in homes means fewer dogs dumped on the city's outskirts, said animal rights activists, who lobbied for the bill.

Sterilization is in fact one proven solution to dog and cat overpopulation. The U.S. has had its own problem with strays, with shelter deaths reaching 24 million a year in the 1970s, according to Richard Avanzino, a former director of the San Francisco SPCA. What happened next was a tremendous pro-sterilization education crusade, fueled with funding and other support from local governments. For decades, vets pushed the spay-and-neuter concept, urging clients to take advantage of low-cost services. Breeders did the same, emphasizing that the only reason to breed is to improve the breed. Today, the U.S. shelter death rate has plummeted to 3-4 million a year, largely thanks to households that have voluntarily sterilized their dogs and cats. For the average American, altering a pet is part and parcel of being a responsible pet owner.

But while a voluntary sterilization program is effective, the prognosis for a mandatory sterilization program is not gladdening. …

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