Letter: Pets in Taiwan

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Mr. Wood's letter (23 September) regarding the welfare of dogs in the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan was one-sided and untrue. Over the past few years the government of the ROC has been working in close partnership with the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to alleviate cruelty to dogs on the island.

Mr Wood writes that the government shows no sign of enforcing minimum welfare standards for dogs. This is a fallacy. In November last year the Animal Protection Law was promulgated and implemented.

This law sets out the legal responsibilities of pet owners, outlines standards for companies engaged in the pet industry and provides a framework for the management of stray dogs. Dog registration is compulsory and fines are now levied on individuals and breeders breaking the law.

The government has also embarked on a programme designed to educate Taiwanese people on how to look after their pets. Local government officials have also been trained to act as teachers of animal welfare issues.

The WSPA have been impressed with the ROC's commitment to improving the situation for dogs in Taiwan. We realise there is still much work to be done and will continue to concentrate our efforts on eradicating cruelty to dogs on the island.

We value the opinions of animal lovers everywhere and welcome their assistance in dealing with this issue. I ask Mr Wood to present a more accurate picture of the situation in the future and invite him to join us in our efforts to improve the lives of dogs in the ROC.

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