Board Director, Taiwan Flowers Development Association
The Council of Agriculture (COA) hosted the first “Stray Dog Management Policy Consensus Conference.” After their five-day dedication, the 19 participating citizens presented their valuable opinions on three major themes: “how humans should treat animals and how to enhance and implement the concept of animal protection,” “how to increase resources on the stray dog management and strengthen government’s policy execution,” and “how to complete the overall stray dog management system.” On August 16, they released a joint conclusion. The COA added that the conclusion will be taken into consideration when planning or reviewing the short-term, mid-term and long-term stray dog management policies in the future.
The conference was mainly concerned about the stray dog management, the attendant citizens broadened their discussions to three major themes. All of these themes not only covered aspects of people’s conceptual education, government policy implementation and pet owner management, but also reflected the fact that in actual practices, the stray dog management is quite complicated and not merely related on to how to deal with existing stray dogs along the streets. The COA said that the priority of the reached consensus is to suggest to the government to establish a more complete resource management system. Similar to the vehicle registration, a supervision system should be introduced to the dog management. Pet owners are required to obtain a license (like a driving license). In addition, regarding a recent social dispute about whether TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) should be legalized as the main method of managing stray dogs and implemented nationwide, the participants have not yet reached a consensus. But they suggested that the central government can support local governments and animal protection groups to cooperate on small-scale TNR trials with supplementary measures.
In the past, the government only invited scholars, experts and those involved in animal protection when discussing the issues of stray dog management. It was difficult for the general public to express their viewpoints or opinions. In this citizen’s consensus conference, the participating 19 persons came from different backgrounds and are selected rigorously from 600 citizens willing to join through public recruit and random telephone interviews. Therefore, the consensus reached by these citizens with different perspectives, life experiences and education in intensive five-day meetings is significantly meaningful. The COA thanked them again for their contributions to the conference by providing many valuable advices. It also welcomed everyone to take a look at the open information of the conference (http://www.ccaw.org.tw/), so that this conference can continuously promote the value of animal protection concept to more people.
(Data Sources: Council of Agriculture)
Date submitted: Nov. 10, 2014
Reviewed, edited and uploaded: Nov. 12, 2014