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Agriculture council planning improvements at animal shelters
Central News Agency
2014-01-16 11:00 PM
Taipei, Jan. 16 (CNA) The Executive Yuan has approved a NT$1.2 billion (US$39.89 million) medium-term project to improve conditions at the nation's animal shelters, an official from the Council of Agriculture (COA) said at a Thursday hearing. Lin Tsung-yi, a section chief at COA's Department of Animal Industry, spoke at a hearing convened by lawmakers Wang Yu-min and Chiang Huei-chen of the ruling Kuomintang, who called for better treatment at public shelters, including scrapping the practice of putting shelter animals down after 12 days -- an issue brought to public attention in the recent documentary "Twelve Nights." Lin said that the government is working toward eliminating what the lawmakers called the "12 days clause," but because more animals are being brought into shelters than adopted out, they have no choice but to continue the practice. He said that after the length of time before animals are put to death was extended from the previous period of seven days, crowded conditions and a lack of medical resources for the animals have actually made the death rate at shelters increase. The government's priority will be promoting spaying and neutering animals, he said, noting that it is planning to vaccinate, fix and plant information chips in dogs in remote and mountainous areas this year to help allay fears over rabies following the deadly disease's recent resurgence. Lin also noted that shelters outside of Taipei generally date back to the early days of the Animal Protection Act was promulgated in 1998. A lack of inspection and quarantine facilities for newly arriving animals means it is difficult to control the spread of infectious diseases. Of the NT$1.2 billion budget, NT$28.5 million will be used this year to improve conditions at those shelters, and local governments will have to reapply each year to have access to the fund, he said. (By Wen Kuei-hsiang and Lilian Wu)
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