From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1999:

Pet registration and microchipping,
required throughout Taiwan since September 1,
is expected to markedly increase returns to owners
by pounds and reduce running-at-large. Stricter
regulation of shelters is meanwhile expected to
diminish the cruelty for which Taiwanese pounds
became notorious in recent years through campaigns
led by the International Alliance for
Taiwan Dogs, Animal Protection of Taiwan,
Life Conservationist Association, and Asians for
Humans, Animals, and Nature. A survey commissioned
by the Council of Agriculture Bureau
of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and
Quarantine reported on August 30 that the number
of stray dogs in Taiwan has fallen from 1.3 to 1.4
million in 1995 to about 600,000 now, while the
number of dogs kept at home as pets has surged
from circa 350,000 then to more than two million.

The island nation of Mauritius, off
southern Africa near Madagascar, is reportedly
planning to privatize the work of catching and
killing stray dogs. Dog-related complaints, especially
from tourism facilities, have become more
numerous recently––according to officials––than
the Mauritius SPCA can handle.
Thai deputy health minister Khamron
Na Lamphun on August 30 asked all hospitals to
treat dog bites as emergency cases, providing
prompt post-exposure rabies vaccination, which
will be furnished by the government if the victims
cannot pay. Thailand has reduced human rabies
fatalities from 350 in 1980 to 44 during the most
recent eight months for which data was available.
Khamron said that 31% of the dogbites resulting in
human deaths come from puppies under three
months of age, whose nipping the victims tend to
disregard. Bangkok, the Thai capital, reportedly
subsidizes dog vaccination and neutering––and is
now trying to institute controls on street elephants,
as well, including a hotline for citizens to report
elephants who appear to be illegally at large within
city limits. The Bangkok urban elephant population
increased from 27 to 40 between mid-1998 and
Canadian Justice Minister Anne
M c L e l l a n reportedly told the Canadian Bar
Association on August 25 that the government will
fianlly introduce a long-awaited update to the animal
cruelty provisions of the Criminal Code of
Canada this fall which will seek to raise the maximum
jail term for cruelty from the present six
months to five years; eliminate the present $2,000
ceiling on fines for cruelty; and enable judges to
impose a lifetime ban on pet ownership. While
Canadian public concern pertaining to animal abuse
––as in the U.S.––seems focused on cruelty as a
predictor of future violence toward humans,
Canadian humane organizations including the
Ontario SPCA and a coalition of 10 British
Columbia groups in mid-August separately called
for stiffer regulation of pet stores, or even an outright
ban on selling dogs and cats through stores.
The Japan Pet Food Manufacturers
Association says the number of pet dogs in Japan
is up by one million since 1994. The average lifespan
of a Japanese pet dog increased from 8.6 years
in 1990 to 10.1 years in 1994, the most recent figure
available. Twenty percent of Japanese households
now keep a dog, compared with 34% of
households in the U.S.
Minnesota Animal Control Association
secretary/treasurer Bill Forbes recently found
that on the first day of Minnesota statehood, May
11, 1858, when Minnesotans first gained the right
of self-governance, the city of Bloomfield adopted
a leash law, an animal fencing ordinance, and an
attempted anti-overpopulation ordinance which
taxed female dogs at $5.00 each––equivalent to
about $120 now. The tax probably only served as a
disincentive to acknowledging responsibility for
any female dogs who were found by dogcatchers.
The Haywood Animal Welfare
Association, of Waynesville, North Carolina, on
September 14 began fundraising to start a no-kill
adoption center and long-term animal care facility.
The 30-kennel Haywood County animal control
shelter currently receives about 4,000 dogs and cats
per year, killing 80%.

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