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Activists call for independent animal protection agency

Activists call for independent animal protection agency

Taipei, May 2 (CNA) Animal rights activists on Wednesday called for an independent agency dedicated to animal protection, saying that placing animal protection and livestock under the same agency creates a conflict due to the nature of the jobs. Chu Tien-hsin, a celebrated local writer and organizer of the appeal, said having one agency managing both animal protection and livestock is like having one ministry in charge of both economic affairs and labor affairs. Livestock is raised for sale and eventual slaughter while animals should be protected, Chu told a press conference in front of the Legislative Yuan, adding that this is a contradiction in terms of job responsibilities. Currently, the Council of Agriculture (COA) is in charge of animal protection, as well as livestock, fishery and forestry issues. Under the draft organic act for upgrading the COA to the Ministry of Agriculture, a department will be established to take care of livestock industry and animal protection at the same time. The activists called for an independent animal protection agency under the Agriculture Ministry with enough resources and funds to properly protect the rights of animals. "Without a specialized agency dedicated to animals, it would be impossible to fully conduct animal protection work," the group said. (By Chen Wei-ting and Jamie Wang)