Taichung City Mayor Jason Hu has taken full responsibilities and expressed deep regret over the unfortunate incident of cruelty towards animals at the Taichung City Animal Quarantine Center's stray dog shelter, owing to the negligence of concerned personnel at the Center, which is under the administration of the Animal Health Inspection and Quarantine Institute. As a form of serious punishment, the City Government has immediately demoted Wu, Long-Tai, former chief of the Animal Health Inspection and Quarantine Institute. At the same time, the Animal Health Inspection and Quarantine Institute is working closely with animal protection groups and veterinarian specialists from the Veterinarian Department of the National Chung Hsing University, to make inspection and evaluation of the Taichung Animal Pet Zoo's quarantine and adoption zone. Initial projects regarding the improvement of medical facilities and overall environment there have been completed on April 1, 2006, and the stray dog quarantine shelter is now transferred to the Taichung Animal Petting Zoo.
Mayor Hu stressed that the City Government has long been concerned with the stray dog situation, and has conducted a series of measures to help alleviate the difficult circumstances including clamping down on the illegal dog breeders and traders, cooperation with various authorities animal protection groups to upgrade the training of the concerned City employees, promotion of pet sterilization and proper handling of whelp while unable to keep them, and most importantly, build shelters in the Animal Petting Zoo for stray animals. However, this unfortunate incident of negligence by a few city employees has prompted the City Government to conduct a full investigation on the matter and chastise those responsible for their misconduct, while taking immediate measures to improve the treatment of stray dogs in the shelter. The City Government has also made plans to form a Taichung City Animal Protection Consultation Committee before April 20, which will see the establishment of the Taichung city Stray Animal Protection Code and Regulations, and other active measures to promote animal welfare.
At the same time, the City's Environmental Protection Bureau will also do its best to further improve their dog-catching skills soon as possible, in order to capture sick or vicious strays reported by the public. Citizens reporting on strays to be captured are requested to leave their name and telephone number as a record. In the next three months, the City Government will be touring the city to actively promote neutering operations for dogs. And, in the near future, concerned departments will hold meetings with animal protection groups to examine the possibility of establishing a few more stray dog adoption stations so that more and more citizens may find it easier to consider adopting “homeless” puppets and dogs.
Regarding the enforcement of dog euthanasia, the City Government has made strict regulations according to international standard process on the agencies commissioned for implementation of the work. Yet in view of the tragic incident caused by negligence and aloofness, the City Government plans to recruit animal protection volunteers, who will be trained and assessed by professionals, to help care for dogs subjected to euthanasia as well as supervise the due process taken by the commissioned agencies. Finally, the City Government will use every possible channel including websites, printouts, radio broadcast and local cable TV station to promote animal protection concept, and extensive knowledge and information on animal birth-control.
In the end, the city wishes to extend its utmost gratefulness to those have expressed concern over the matter and those who have offered their loving hand to improve the condition. Any further advice and support to help us build or find a home for the strays will be greatly appreciated.