Through the valley of the shadow of death, yet into an even darker future? ---the stray animal problem under the threat of rabies in Taiwan  (Jason, Lih-Seng Yeh )
The core purpose of Taiwan’s Animal Protection Act is to resolve the long existing stray animal and pet overpopulation problems on this island. And one of main goals of stray animal management is to prevent the epidemic hazards including rabies. Rabies was introduced into Taiwan in 1947, at that time leading to as many as 800 human casualties. Through enforcement of dog vaccination and culling of stray dogs, rabies was eliminated in 12 years and Taiwan became one of the few rabies free areas on the planet. On July 2013, with an outbreak of rabies in ferret badgers and a few other small wild mammals, Taiwan was once again announced as rabies infected region. Following the incident, panicking hostile attitude to wild animals and pet dogs abandon became quite common. However, with the time passing and the decreasing of news exposure, the public in Taiwan “forgot” the disease situation before the end of the year 2013. The epidemic hazard is still there, but Taiwan seems got over it and return to its usual, indifferent status of calm.

The logistic of pet population control in the Animal Protection Act was based on the enforcement of efficient rabies vaccination, pet registration, and dog identification by tagging and microchipping. Other coordinative measures including sterilization, breeder control, improvement of shelter management and encourage of shelter animal adoption. The “drive “initiative of the whole mechanism is through the prevention of Rabies epidemic, therefore the program can be further enforced with help of other communicable disease control laws of Taiwan. However, the authority didn’t make the best use of the 2013 rabies to strengthen the management measures which hadn’t been well enforced. In a matter of months the public became “desensitized” of the condition: since the worst scenario has already appeared and the impact of stray animal and pet overpopulation problems was thought “tolerable”. The desensitization mad future work even harder to execute,if not impossible. If the pet management logistic is taken lightly at this moment, this problem will only be able to be addressed in a much slower and more subtle way in the future. That is to say, through ethic education and the raise of public awareness of responsive ownership. It seems the problems of meaningless loss of life, the huge number of stray animal, the poor condition of animal shelters will continue to torture caring souls on this island.





Department of Religious Studies, Hsuan Chuang University

Life Conservationist Association

HongShi Buddhist Cultural and Educational Foundation


Ministry of Science and Technology,Republic of China

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, R.O.C.

Ministry of Education, R.O.C.

Hsuan Chuang University


Hsuan Chuang University Research Center For Applied Ethics

Buddhist HongShi College