By Zane Kheir, The China Post
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Newly elected Taichung City Mayor Lin Chia-lung (�L���s) visited Taichung’s Animal Protection and Health Inspection Office in Nantun (�ʪ����a�n�ٶ��ϳX��) yesterday and stated that more effort must be placed on increased animal protection.
The Mayor set a target to reduce the rate of euthanasia among stray animals to zero within the next three years.
While visiting the animal protection center, Lin heard about animal protection and disease control pertaining to stray animals and viewed a presentation on the business of animal shelters. Lin also met with head of the animal shelter Chiang Shu-fen (���Q��) and received a tour of the area where unclaimed animals are raised. The shelter contains both stray dogs and cats that live in the same living quarters that allow visitors to see their living conditions. After completing the tour and presentation, Lin stated that 4,988 stray cats and dogs died of euthanasia last year in Taichung City. Although this year’s animal death rate is noticeably lower than last year’s, Taichung still has one of the highest occurrences of stray animal euthanasia in Taiwan, according to the Mayor. This is not a point of pride for Taichung, the Mayor said. Lin claimed that upon enacting a law prohibiting euthanasia of animals, the city should be able to quickly reach its target of completely eliminating the problem entirely. As a means of tackling the problem at its source, harsher penalties shall be put in place for owners who abandon their animals, Lin commented. In addition, citizens will be encouraged to actively sterilize and adopt animals and cease behaviors such as abandoning animals. Matchmaking services by the animal shelter as it looks for potential owners will also help to decrease the problem of strays.
While commenting on his reaction to the animal shelter, Lin stated that on Facebook citizens have expressed their concern within a group called ��Top 10 Action Plans�� for animal protection. So far there are over 4,579 comments on the group. Among them, 249 comments directly express their concern for animal protection.