|[ 4.1 Status of Stray Dogs ] [ 4.2 Death-Sentenced Dogs ] [ 4.3 Organizations ]|
When dealing with stray animals, the Taiwanese government has an appalling reputation. Before the 1998 Animal Protection Law was put into action, stray animals were, in short, tortured instead of being rescued from their horrible living conditions -- the streets. Some horrendous methods that the stray animals had to endure included being drowned in cages, electrocuted, buried alive, and being starved to death. As the stray animals are continuously tortured, national and international protests arose and they had a positive effect on the status of stray animals. Even though the government passed a new animal welfare law and put resources into building more animal pounds, buying catching equipment, and providing training to dog-catchers, the welfare of stray animals hardly improved at all. In fact, the number of stray animals appear to increase despite government efforts. According to an interview conducted by the Environmental and Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST), stray animals are dumped in one of 140 government-run facilities. As Chen Yu-Min, director of EAST, stated, the suffering he witnessed was far beyond imagination. There was overcrowding, and the weak or sick animals are unable to find a comfortable space to lie down and recuperate. Furthermore, the animals are not given shelter from the horrendous weather conditions. As observed during the visits to these facilities, animals are normally left to die "naturally", either due to diseases, or due to deprivation of food and water. Even though the Rubbish Collection Squad still remove stray dogs from the streets, they lack the skills to properly handle these animals and are absolutely unconcerned about their welfare. The stray dogs are transported to pounds, which are usually garbage dumps or remote areas near cemeteries or slaughterhouses. The most horrifying statistic is that during the 10-year period from 1999 to 2008, where an astounding 900,000 stray dogs were sent to the government pounds, of which 650,000 dogs were put to sleep. With an average intake of nearly 90,000 animals annually, and with the numbers increasing drastically as time passes, there appears to be categorically no end to the suffering of stray animals.
Stray animals removed from the streets that are placed in government facilities are normally put to death. The reasons for these unfortunate actions are basically because the government lack sufficient funds to provide adequate care for these stray animals. Not only are they unable to stay in proper shelters, but they also lack the appropriate care and necessities to ensure their health and safety. As the number of stray animals continue to build up, many of them are put to death to prevent them from breeding, which would ensue a dramatic increase in the number of stray animals. Unfortunately, the main reason why stray animals are put to death is because the animal shelters lack the money to provide enough shelter for all the animals. Also, animal shelters are devoid of resources to improve the conditions of the many sick and weak stray animals. Hence, Taiwan resorts to their last option -- euthanasia.