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June 27, 2017

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Animal activists want zero shelter deaths

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan animal shelters should aim to end all deaths as soon as possible, animal rights campaigners said yesterday.

Singer Mina Lee (李宓) dressed as a cat and was joined by four male models in dog costumes to raise awareness of animal protection yesterday at an event held by the Animal Protection Administrative Supervising Committee (APASC, 動物保護行政監督委員會), under the Life Conservation Association (LCA, 關懷生命協會).

Lee said that she hopes through body painting and artistic expression she can make people consider the fate of animals.

"I believe that every animal, including pets and those used for experiments, has the right to live without being tortured," Lee said.

She added that "it is important for everyone to learn how to respect life."

APASC chief Ho Tsung-hsun (何宗勳) said that even though people started to pay attention to issues about animal protection, more cases involving the mistreatment and torture of animals appear every year.

"Except for the issue of inappropriate treatment of pets, we also need to focus on issues regarding animals used in science and for food," Ho said.

"It is urgent for people to fight for animals' right for them."

According to the APASC, statistics from the Council of Agriculture show that the death rate in public animal shelters in 2011 — including those which were euthanized — was 76.1 percent.

"Human beings do not have the right to intervene in animals' rights to live," Ho said, "so we want to promote the ideas of improving animal shelters, encouraging adopting animals, and develop the trap, neuter, release (TNR) program in order to protect animals."

"Pa-Shih," one of the four male models attending the event, said that he grew up surrounded by small animals — including a monkey — and he believes that we can learn a lot from them.

Lee has taken part in other campaigns and protests before. She was one of a group of more than 20 people to launch the first naked protest against the use of nuclear power in Taiwan when she was a college student in 2006.

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