Animal rights!

. . . coming from a country like Canada…human rights and animal rights are the foremost important things in Canada…
Have any of you guys noticed that animals have no rights in Taiwan? People in Taiwan do not take care of thier animals . . . they feed them scraps . . . don’t take them to vets . . . and what about those puppies and kittens in the night markets? in Canada . . . that would be considered illegal . . . those puppies and kittens are way too young to be separated from their parents and being sold under a spot light in night markets . . . inhumane conditions . . . imagine the rampant number of puppy mills in Taiwan . . . how awful . . . makes me sick . . . are there any animal rights organizaitons in Taiwan? What can I do to stop this?

As you must suspect, anything to do with “animal rights” would be flame-bait even in the West, let alone here. However most of us sympathize with the “cruelty to animals” aspect, if we leave off all that theoretically compelling but impossible-to-use stuff about speciesism being racism.

In fact I do believe Taiwan has an SPCA chapter. Buddhist organizations would probably also be receptive. They’re known for things like, buying fish to be released again, but this could easily be channeled into more productive avenues. In Buddhist theology, an animal is just another kind of sentient being whose happiness we should desire.

Nobody wants their puppy or kitten to suffer, the Taiwanese just don’t have the kind of pet-raising culture that the West does. In the West, we all know somebody who knows about dogs or whatever. Here, all that really only got started a decade or so ago. Dog obedience is a big mystery to them still. (To be fair, so is kid obedience!)

From the commerical aspect, Taiwan being Taiwan, it won’t be easy to either regulate the shops, or enforce regulations. But you might be able to educate customers about the important genetic/behavioral drawbacks of using them, establish some kind of “seal of approval.” There aren’t any kennel clubs here, are there?

Another aspect that might get a sympathetic reception: people who are deliberately cruel to animals, are more likely to abuse people. Children especially should be taught to care about animals’ feelings.

There was an animal protection act passed a few years ago, wasn’t there? I recall the matter receiving some attention for a short time. Anyway, I thought there was a provision outlawing nightmarket sales of animals as customers who purchase animals at such places are considered (correctly) to be making an"impulse" buy, which, by definition, means that they have likely not considered the responsibility of owning that “hao ke ai” puppy.

So check out the link below:

Scroll down the page till you see “Taiwan Dog Pounds.” This was an investigation done by some local animal rights activists into conditions at Taiwan dog pounds. If you’ve been here a while, the content may not realy surprise you. But the cannibalism might.

One animal rights group is:

[url=]Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST)

Tel: (02) 2239 8105~6 Fax: (02) 2239 7634
E-mail: free0511 AT ms36 DOT hinet DOT net

I know that animal rights are not a priority here in Taiwan, but in my neighborhood from what I can see, everyone treats their dogs perfectly fine. Was at the Shilin night market a few nights ago and while a couple of the puppies seemed pretty young, they all seemed extremely well fed and happy and were living in very clean cages.

Okay so how do you guys feel about stray dogs and people who feed them? I’m just curious…

Better save the money you’d have spent feeding them, ‘kidnap’ one and have it fixed. I know a lot of vets are very hip to this and will give you a break fixing a street dog.

HA!! Great idea, but I think few people actually do that, easier to throw the dogs a bone, you know…

That’s why there are so many street dogs. The numbers (as with any kind of pest) in a given area will go up or down in direct relation to the available food supply. Over the years I’ve had to force several building security guys not to do this as they were adding to the stray dog problem. WHen you stop feeding them, they go hang around someplace else.

Do you mean for sale? I think selling pets in night markets has been banned, because impulse-buying and responsible pet ownership don’t mix. Today’s hao ke’ai rapidly becomes tomorrow’s tai mafan.

Of course there are lots of things for sale in night markets that aren’t quite legal.

just saw on the news tonight a report about some kind of training of hunting dogs, the boss was using a poor pig as the “trainer”, the dogs just kept chasing it and biting it, the last shot was of the owner giving the pig a good kick in the side. i really couldn’t believe it, and it didn’t look like any kind of secret filming but seemed to be being filmed openly. i’m assuming it was taiwan

Hmmm… I might have to move into your neighbourhood. It’s got to be the worst thing about living here; It’s so hard to see animals mistreated on a daily basis. :cry: The saddest thing is that so many of the strays are friendly, obviously “throwaways” that once had a home. No one bothers to teach any of the kids how to handle dogs, either. I brought mine to school one day and half of the students were skittishly running away from her while the others were pulling on her tail and mauling her. And these weren’t babies; most of them were between 10 and 15! The teachers and parents did NOTHING to stop them. Suffice to say, I didn’t bring her to school again, though I do a little “moralising” regarding animal rights (or just decent treatment) in my classes now.

One animal rescue group worth checking out is the Taipei Abandoned Animal Rescue Foundation. Here’s their site:

I brought mine to school one day and half of the students were skittishly running away from her while the others were pulling on her tail and mauling her. And these weren’t babies; most of them were between 10 and 15! The teachers and parents did NOTHING to stop them. [/quote]
Just got back from a trip home for Christmas holiday and I saw kids pulling on dogs tails and kind of torturing dogs in the US. The only difference is that when their parents caught them, they got in trouble. Here in Taiwan most of the parents and teachers didn’t have a dog as a child so they don’t know how to treat them properly. Just needs one or two generation of dog owners to teach people. Again in the neighbohood I live in, there are so many dog owners out walking their dogs and I have never seen any dogs mistreated, albeit we do have some street dogs.

Dogs were the latest fashion accessory in Shanghai when I was there. Wonder how long on average each owner keeps his dog for.

I recently heard or read something about dog ownership in China. Part of the status symbol is supposed to be the price of dogs there. Well over US$1000. I heard for most breeds they cannot breed them fast enough in China and they must steal them from Taiwan and other countries. Supposedly the tax is very very high for having a dog and wasn’t until recently that owning a dog was even legal.

I think most of the dogs viewed as status symbols are purebred, though. The street curs continue their legacy as street curs. Sad, really.

Absolutely right. In my community of affluent Taiwanese and foreingenrs, one can see many purebred dogs - Labrador Retrievers, Schnauzers, Doberman Pinschers, English Sheepdogs, etc. The Doberman was purchased to satisy the ego of its owner, who named it “Arnold” (as in Schwarzenegger). The dog seems very skittish, without the poise and confidence that the breed is know for. I’m guessing he gets swatted regularly, but has never been properly trained, and that’s really sad. Most people here do not train their dogs at all. Big dogs are allowed to shit in their cages and little dogs are trained to shit on newspaper tucked in a corner of a kitchen or a balcony. Proper housebreaking rarely gets done.

One neighbour has a beautiful golden retriever with a bad habit of jumping up on people. This results in either dirty clothes from its paws, or being knocked down, especially with smaller children. The dog is not vicious at all, it just hadn’t learned appropriate behaviour. A while back I got fed up, and told the owner to “sit” while I trained the dog. In less than ten minutes, the dog was converted. Without follow-up training, the dog will rever to its previous bad habits though, which is really a pity. Retrievers are so easily trained - they crave it, in fact.

Last weekend, I went to visit a “professional” breeder of Labrador Retrievers in Nangang. The guy was a complete jerk. He had maybe twenty dogs, all of them in cages. The cages were indoors, with adequate sanitation, lighting, ventilation, etc. but they were still cages. He was going on and on about his dogs’ champion bloodlines - many of them were imported directly from the US, Australia, Germany and Canada. He was very proud of the enormous amounts of money he had paid for his dogs (up to $700,000NT!). I disliked him almost instantly. I asked him if any of his dogs could “sit” on command, and he looked at me as if I were crazy for asking such a question. “These dogs are for show” he said. :unamused:

Which brings me to another issue: there is no such thing as a “professional” dog breeder in Taiwan, unless charging exorbitant amounts of money is enough to qualify you as a professional. There is no internationally recognized dog association, there is not even a nationally recognized dog association. Breeders here do not care about breeding out defects in dogs. They will not notify you of medical defects the dog’s parents might have had. They will take your money and lead you down the garden path. In return you get a puppy, which may or may not be a genetic nightmare.

If you want to get a purebred dog, get on the internet and find out about local clubs made up of owners of the breed you would like. Slowly, groups of concerned dog owners are starting to implement standards amongst the dogs they breed, breeding out hip defects, congenital eye problems, etc. While they will charge for their pups, it is not their livilihood. As one owner remarked, “if we gave them away for free, everyone would want one, and most of them would end up in the pound.”

I had a sad experience last year when my Labrador Retriever pup died at the tender age of 7 months, from a genetic defect that could probably have been avoided by a responsible breeder. I’ll share the story someday on the thread chainsmoker started,but not today.

Excuse me, but Chinese certainly do not have the market cornered on purebred dogs. Ever been to the United States?

Take alook at Page 5 of today’s “Taiiwan News” (Jan 4, 2003). There’s a nice photo of cages full of dogs at the Wuhan train station…they’re on their way to restaurants in Guangzhou.