Animal associations

Stray dogs shouldn’t be scapegoated as a threat to wildlife: group of animals

Taipei, Aug. 20 (CNA) An animal welfare group said on Saturday that stray dogs should not be blamed for the destruction of wildlife, as the main culprits are humans.

Citing an international report on wildlife endangerment research, the Taiwan Animal Protection Monitor Network said the main threats to animals’ survival in the wild are poaching and habitat destruction by humans.

In recent years, however, whenever there are reports of protected wildlife being killed or injured by stray dogs, the internet explodes with talk of dog culling, the nonprofit group said in a statement. statement issued on the occasion of the International Day of Homeless Animals.

Taiwan banned the euthanasia of animals in public shelters in 2017, and only those diagnosed by veterinarians as terminally ill or infected with contagious diseases can be put down.

According to the animal welfare group, recent data from the Council of Agriculture (COA) showed that over the past five years, some 3,718 wild animals have been rescued in Taiwan, including 1,633 injured.

Of the 1,633 injured animals, 908 had been injured in wildlife collisions (WVCs), 242 had been caught in traps set by humans and 299 had been attacked by another animal, the group said, citing the COA data.

In those attacks by other animals, stray dogs accounted for 190, and while that was the majority in that category, it was actually the cause of less than 20% of the 1,633 total injuries, the group said.

This does not mean, however, that the problem of stray dogs should be ignored, but the solution must be to find homes for them, the group said.

He also called on the government to facilitate a system where local district and ward leaders, animal welfare volunteers and public and private animal organizations could team up to catch stray pets, neuter them. or sterilize and vaccinate, then release them. streets, in what is called a trap, neuter, vaccinate, return (TNVR) method.

In the meantime, to better protect wildlife, relevant authorities should integrate their strategies, plans and resources – an approach that is more likely to yield concrete results in the short term, the group said.

International Day of Homeless Animals, celebrated annually on the third Saturday in August, was established in 1992 by the International Society for Animal Rights to raise awareness of pet overpopulation. Since then, thanks to the significant work of the society, the lives of millions of animals have been saved.