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26 dogs die from heat stress during transport in Taiwan

Driver accepts full responsibility
/ 04:37 PM April 26, 2016

Twenty-six (26) stray dogs died from heat stress while being transported by the Chiayi County Government to a private animal shelter in Tainan on Monday.

Chiayi is the sixth largest county located in the southwestern part of Taiwan. As of 4 pm (Manila time) Tuesday, weather.com said Chiayi county’s temperature is 28-degrees centigrade.

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The Chiayi County Government’s Livestock Disease Control Center said 26 dogs were found dead in the animal enclosure of a dedicated motor vehicle after its air-conditioning system broke down.

Another 11 strays are in critical condition as of press time.

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The vehicle was carrying 69 dogs and one cat to a private Tainan organization that had adopted the animals, according to the control center.

Livestock Disease Control Center Director Wong Yo-chu told reporters that the driver apologized for causing the deaths and said he was willing to accept full responsibility.

But blame for the deaths lies with the government control center, which had arranged the transportation for the animals, Wong said.

Wong said current laws and regulations state that the adopter or adopting shelter is responsible for transporting the animal to its new home.

The Chiayi County Government’s animal control center had agreed to provide transportation in this case because the Tainan shelter did not have a vehicle capable of conveying a large quantity of animals, he said.

Wong said that in the future, prospective adopters of strays from the Chiayi County Government must be able to provide their own transportation.

Central gov’t launches probe

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The Council of Agriculture of the Executive Yuan said it had ordered a probe and that the wrongful party was subject to a fine of up to NT$75,000, or an equivalent of P108,586.25 in Philippine pesos. NT$ stands for New Taiwan Dollars.

In a statement released late Tuesday, the Agriculture Council said it dispatched the Tainan’s Animal Health Inspection and Protection Office to provide emergency care immediately after it was notified of the incident.

It also asked the Tainan office to gather evidence for an investigation on whether Chiayi County Government had violated the Animal Protection Act by causing the wrong death of the animals through negligence.

The Agriculture Council said that Article 5 of the Animal Protection Act, which stipulates the responsibilities of an animal owner, “can be applied to a public animal shelter.”

Accidentally causing the death of an animal by violating Article 5 can lead to fines of between NT$15,000 (PHP 21715.63) and NT$75,000, according to Article 30 of the Animal Protection Act.

The statement urged the public to take precautions when transporting animals in recent warm weather.

Owners can minimize heat stress on animals in vehicles by ensuring air flow, adequate space and water availability, the council said.

The 26 dead animals will be cremated by their shelter in Tainan with assistance from the Chiayi County Government. TVJ

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TAGS: animal rights, Chiayi County Government, Chiayi County Government’s Livestock Disease Control Center, Motoring, pets, stray dogs, Tainan, Taiwan, Transportation
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