Euthanization of 154 Cats Sparks Outcry, Scholars Claim Measures for Disease Prevention 貓咪遭安樂死惹議 學者:防傳染病須銷毀

The captain of the fishing vessel Shun Fa No. 886 was interrogated for smuggling valuable cats and was bailed by NT$60,000. Meanwhile, the swift euthanization of the smuggled cats has sparked controversy.

 Captain Lin remained silent to the media after he left the questioning at the prosecutor's office. He is the captain of the fishing vessel Shun Fa No.886 that got caught Saturday, August 21 smuggling in a total of 154 rare cats with an estimated market value of NT$10 million. A new air conditioning system was found installed on the vessel, leading to suspicion that the captain knew ahead of time what he needed to do.

Hsu Hung-ju, Deputy Chief Prosecutor, Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office:” The cats were contained in a hidden compartment on the ship especially designed to escape security checks. There was a large number of cats from expensive breeds; the cost of smuggling these animals is high. We don't rule out the possibility that there is a large smuggling organization behind this.” 

Fishing vessel Shun Fa No. 886 was also found to have smuggled in cigarettes in April of 2020. Captain Lin was released on a NT$60,000 bail on charges of smuggling and violations of the Statute for Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Diseases. In the meantime, these 154 cats were euthanized by the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) the following day after their discovery, causing controversy about the authority's handling of the matter. Many animal rights groups condemned the killing. The government says they will soon make amendments. Some experts support euthanization, saying that animals that arrive without health certificates and proper documentation are possible carriers of rabies and even COVID-19.

Lai Shiow-suey, Honorary Professor, School of Veterinary Medicine, NTU:” They (smuggled cats) do need to be put down immediately. Or else they could spread rabies and other infectious diseases to other animals. Cats could also be infected with COVID-19 and they could possibly spread it around.”

Anthony Ni, Spokesperson, Animal Rescue Team Taiwan:” It is quite common for countries around the world to euthanize smuggled animals after they are seized. They do it in the U.S., Europe, Japan and etc.” 

Animal Rescue Team Taiwan said that while many developed countries do protect their ecosystem by euthanizing smuggled animals, it believes the Taiwan authorities should take alternative measures that are more humane, such as putting up these animals for adoption. However, another expert shared his opposing view on Facebook.He disagrees with the adoption since smuggled animals usually come from unlicensed breeders and these animals could carry infectious diseases.Amendments should stick to curbing animal smuggling and selling of animals from unknown sources.



高雄地檢署襄閱主任檢察官 徐弘儒:「有發現貓隻均在一個特別打造的密艙裡來規避安檢,動物數量龐大、成本昂貴,目前不排除有不法集團幕後操控。」


聲音來源 台大獸醫學院名譽教授 賴秀穗:「是應該要立即撲殺,否則的話這些貓在進來的時候,牠也有可能傳染狂犬病,還有可能傳染其他貓的疾病。COVID-19的一個病毒也可以感染貓,所以牠也有機會傳染這個所謂(武漢)新冠肺炎這種病。」

台灣動物緊急救援小組發言人 倪京台:「國際上普遍面對走私、非法輸入的動物,都是予以銷毀。包括進步的美國、歐美、日本等等,都是這個情形。」