Invest in animal welfare

The China Post news staff

Last week the Central News Agency reported that Taiwan’s only 24-hour animal rescue service will cease operation as of today. The cause is a lack of government funding and a fall-off in donations by private citizens. The Taipei-based Life Caring and Animal Rescue Organization (LCO) has been around for four years and in that time has saved 6,000 cats and dogs. Puppies and kittens aren’t the only benefactors. LCO has also rescued an eagle, an anteater and a Formosan Sanbar Deer. With a “no kill” philosophy, LCO is currently caring for close to 400 animals.

The group’s CEO, Tiger Tung, says LCO applied to the Council of Agriculture for subsidies this summer, but was rejected. Tung claims Taiwan needs to reevaluate funding for animal groups. According to Tung, Hong Kong’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) receives some funding from the Hong Kong authorities and has a staff of more than 100. The Hong Kong SPCA also gets funding from the local horseracing industry and a charity foundation.

As has been noted by many, Taiwan needs to step up the game with regard to its animal welfare. The budget for keeping an organization such as LCO in business for a month is less than one million NT dollars. We can afford to invest in making Taiwan an animal-friendly nation.