Taipei, June 30 (CNA) The Council of Agriculture (COA) urged Saturday shelters for stray dogs to step up their adoption campaigns, following calls by animal rights groups that unwanted dogs are put down if they overstay the maximum shelter period.
The COA said that it will request animal shelters to extend the shelter period as long as possible if space is available, noting that the current maximum shelter period is 12 days.
Under a revised Animal Protection Act, animals at shelters will only be put down after staying for 12 days, not seven days, the COA said.
Besides seeing to it that local shelter centers extend the shelter period as long as possible, the COA said it will make sure shelters do more to promote adoption campaigns by providing various incentives to people, for example.
Stray dogs will also be given basic training and made to look more attractive to entice people to adopt them, the council said.
According to the COA, adoption rates for stray dogs have continued to rise in recent years, increasing to 20.3 percent of impounded animals in 2011 from 13.7 percent in 2009.
In addition, euthanasia rates have decreased to 57.9 percent in 2011 from 73.1 percent in 2009.
However, the COA said that with nearly 60 percent of animals in centers being put down, "there is ample room for making greater efforts."
(By Yang Shu-min and Lilian Wu)