February 27, 2003
Taiwan Animal Control InitiativeWhen HSI accepted an invitation to speak on stray dog control at a conference on animal welfare in Taiwan in the summer of 1996, we could hardly have foreseen the long-term commitment ahead. In the years since this first trip, historic formal agreements between the government of Taiwan and HSI have been signed. These form the basis for a comprehensive program of effective and humane animal care and control on the island.
HSI first became aware of Taiwan's problem with strays when the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) sponsored a workshop on animal handling and control there in 1995. We wrote a letter of support at that time to the Taiwanese government, hoping it would embrace the training and reform animal control practices that included capturing dogs with piano wire loops and slinging them into trucks for delivery to pounds or collection sites.
Few changes had taken place by the time of the 1996 conference. When our executive staff was asked by the conference's developer to help him help his country deal with the stray dog problem in a more humane and comprehensive manner, our real involvement began.
In the years since that call for help was made, HSI, assisted by the Hawaiian Humane Society, has conducted numerous in-depth training sessions for Taiwanese shelter workers, veterinarians, representatives of various government agencies and private organizations, and others. Staff have made regular visits to the island to help design and implement a comprehensive and humane program of animal care and control.
With the guidance, training, and information that have been provided, many improvements have been made. But much remains to be done as we continue our efforts to alleviate the suffering of Taiwan's stray dogs and cats.