Activists call for ROC animal rights unit
Activists called on the ROC government May 2 to set up an independent department dedicated to animal rights when the Council of Agriculture is merged into Ministry of Agriculture.
They raised the issue at the Legislative Yuan amid discussion over government streamlining efforts. The current plan, once ratified, would incorporate animal rights within the MOA’s Department of Animal Industry and Protection.
Well-known local writer Chu Tien-hsin was outraged by this arrangement. “The tasks of safeguarding animal rights and using animals for economic profit should not be put under the same umbrella,” she said.
In response, a COA official said combining animal use and care efforts is common practice in many countries, including Australia, Germany, South Korea and the U.S.
“The expertise required for properly managing the livestock industry and the know-how needed to ensure animal well-being are not so different and thus should be considered complementary in practice,” said Lin Tsung-yi, the section chief for animal protection.
Besides regulating farming practices, the department will also be charged with monitoring humane treatment of livestock and ethical handling of lab animals, he added.
The reorganization plan will also see the introduction of a department for agricultural product marketing, while COA units managing natural resources, including the Forestry Bureau, Soil and Water Conservation Bureau and Endemic Species Research Institute, will be relocated to the new Ministry of Environmental Resources.
The MOA reorganization plan still awaits legislative approval and will take effect next year at the soonest, sources said.
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