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WE THE ANIMALS: The battle to enshrine animal rights in Taiwan’s constitution

Taiwanese animal rights advocates from different groups established an alliance to promote animal protection legislation, including adding clauses to the Constitution.

LIN CHIA-NAN: Animal rights advocates urged Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and lawmakers to enshrine the protection of animals in the Constitution, saying that existing laws are insufficient to stop the abuse of animals. The advocates from different groups in February established an alliance to promote animal protection legislation, including by adding clauses on the protection of animals to the Constitution…

The alliance has written a letter to Tsai calling for a constitutional amendment to promote animal welfare, Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan executive director Wu Hung (悟泓) said, adding it would not impose a ban on the use of animals, just prevent their abuse.

“Whether it is from the perspective of food security, sustainable husbandry, disease prevention or scientific research, animal welfare is directly related to human welfare,” the letter states. “Just like humans are more vulnerable to diseases when they are under stress, or become weaker or injured, animals are more likely to be infected by new types of disease when their immune systems are affected by those factors.”

“Animals are able to feel pain and pressure, and respond to such stimuli. Their dignity of life should be respected and their welfare should be legally protected,” it states… Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, people protect each other by social distancing, but animals are kept in crowded cages that can be hotbeds of other viruses, he said…

While the Animal Protection Act (動物保護法) imposes penalties on people who abuse animals, the effectiveness of the act is often undermined by other regulations, which shows the need to add clauses on animal protection to the nation’s highest law, the Constitution, Wu Hung said…

The alliance met with the legislative caucus of the Taiwan People’s Party, which was the first political party to respond to their demands, Taiwan Animal Protection Monitor Network secretary-general Ho Tsung-hsun (何宗勳) said. The alliance also plans to arrange meetings with the caucuses of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the New Power Party and the Democratic Progressive Party, Ho said. SOURCE…


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