Back to list

Government urged to punish hotel for animal abuse

2010/03/29 18:28:38

Taipei, March 29 (CNA) An animal protection group urged thegovernment Monday to enforce the law and punish the managers of alocal hotel and a Chinese chef for animal abuse after the chef threwa live chicken into a pot of boiling water in public.

The chef, Zhang Xiaochun, was invited to perform a 3-minutechicken-cooking skills presentation at a press conference held by theHoliday Inn East Taipei in Taipei County March 21. Zhang scalded thechicken to death before plucking it and proceeding with the rest ofthe cooking process, the Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan(EAST) said.

"It was a wrong demonstration" that violated Taiwan's lawsregulating animal protection and the slaughter of livestock, saidEAST Director Chen Yu-min, noting that the press conference was apublic relations event.

Those who attended the press conference included not only thehotel's general manager, Liu Heng-ching, but also Taipei CountyDirector of Tourism and Travel Bureau Lee Chung-kuei, as well asreporters.

Through the subsequent media reports, what the public read andsaw was "negative information" portraying the abuse and brutalkilling of animals, the EAST said, warning that Zhang's culinaryperformance could lead to copycat killings by local people.

The influence of such demonstrations can be profound, Chen noted.

According to the EAST, the law states that the slaughter ofpoultry is only allowed to be performed at certified localtraditional markets or private homes. Hotels are not on the list andthe regulations stipulate that they must use meat from legalslaughterhouses, it noted.

EAST officials said the organization has filed a complaintagainst Zhang and Liu, as well as Holiday Inn East Taipei ChairmanChang Shan-liang, with the Taipei District Prosecutors Office,demanding an investigation into the case.

Meanwhile, government officials responsible for animal industryand quarantine affairs were unanimous that the public demonstrationof the inhumane killing of a chicken violated the law.

Hsu Kuei-sen, director of the Animal Industry Department underthe Council of Agriculture (COA) , said the conduct of boiling achicken alive violates the Animal Protection Act.

However, it is the local government that has the authority toenforce the law, Hsu said, noting that it is up to the Taipei CountyGovernment to decide what action it will take on the matter.

Denouncing the culinary demonstration for violating both thehumanitarian code and the Animal Industry Act, Huang Kuo-ching,deputy director-general of the COA's Bureau of Animal and PlantHealth Inspection and Quarantine, suggested that the local governmentshould fine the hotel.

Under the law, the fines for such a crime range betweenNT$100,000 and NT$500,000 (US$15,700), according to Huang.

Taipei county officials were unavailable to comment on thematter.

The Taipei-based EAST, established in 1999, is a non-profit,non-government organization that campaigns for improvements foranimals, people and the environment in Taiwan. It believes humanwelfare is closely linked to animal welfare and environmentalprotection.

(By Yang Shu-min and Elizabeth Hsu)