COA to lower the euthanasia rate of sheltered animals
By Joy Lee, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Council of Agriculture (COA, 農委會) said yesterday that the COA has set a goal to lower the euthanasia rate of animals in shelters to between 35 to 40 percent, while increasing adoption rates to 40 percent in three years.
March 13, 2013, 12:15 am TWN
Kuomintang (KMT) lawmaker Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) held a press conference yesterday, demanding the COA come up with a plan to gradually lower death rates in animal shelters.
“The COA should set the goal of zero cases of euthanasia for healthy cats and dogs in local shelters,” Ting said, “which will conform to the first article of the Animal Protection Act to respect the lives of animals and protect them.”
COA Deputy Minister Wang Cheng-teng (王政騰) said that the COA has been working hard to target pet owners with messages on keeping their pets as a way to lower the chance of people abandoning their pets and decrease the number of unwanted animals placed in shelters.
Ting also said that the statistics published on the COA website regarding the numbers of animals in local shelters were not consistent when adding up the number of animals in each category.
“It is very disappointing to find out that the COA provided doubtful statistics because the public can not help improve public policies based on incorrect evidence,” said Ting.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇), who also attended the conference, said “without correct statistics, it will be difficult for the government to come up with a policy that can truly solve the problem.”
Wang said that the improved accuracy of statistics from each local animal shelter will be required.
“The COA only provides the number of animals entering or leaving the shelters instead of the number of animals under the care of the shelter,” Wang said, “and that is the main reason why the numbers from each category can not match up when being totaled.”
Wang still promised to publish all related information in the future to avoid further misunderstandings.
Taipei Top Shelter Ranking
According to the COA's statistics in 2012, Taipei City tops the ranking of municipal shelters based on categories including adoption, death, and euthanasia rates in local shelters, followed by Kaohsiung City and New Taipei City.
The COA's 2012 statistics also showed that Hsinchu City tops the shelter ranking for county and city's shelters while Pingtung City has a 99.9-percent euthanizing rate.
Animal Protection Administrative Supervising Committee chief Ho Tsung-hsun (何宗勳) said that all animal shelters in Pingtung City are in schools. Most people do not have access to go onto the campus to adopt animals, so Pingtung City should come up with a policy to solve this problem as soon as possible.
Sheu Kuei-son (許桂森), director of the COA's Department of Animal Industry, said that the COA will have a discussion with the Pingtung County Government regarding the high euthanasia rate in local shelters.