Constitutional enshrinement of animal protection garners opposition support

Opposition party leaders on Wednesday joined advocacy groups to voice their support for enshrining the protection of animals in the Constitution by pushing for a constitutional amendment, amid a lack of progress at the Legislature.

The Kuomintang (KMT) supports the inclusion of animal protection in the Constitution, KMT Chairman Eric Chu (???) said at the opening of a conference held in Taipei by the Animal Protection Legislation Movement Alliance (APLMA), a coalition consisting of eight animal rights groups.

The KMT has adopted the notion of protecting animals and their rights in its party charter, Chu said, adding that the issue of animal protection transcended party lines and would require the efforts of all members of society.

Meanwhile, Chen Jiau-hua (???), chairwoman of the New Power Party (NPP), said the legislation was essential for improving animal protection in Taiwan.

She also called for President Tsai Ing-wen (???) and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to commit to promoting the inclusion of animal protection in the Constitution.

Previously, KMT Legislator Cheng Li-wun (???) and Taiwan People's Partyn (TPP) Legislator Tsai Pi-ru (???) both said they had introduced their respective versions of the constitutional amendment bill to the Legislature.

Meanwhile, several lawmakers from the DPP and TPP have also expressed support for the legislation.

However, Deputy Secretary-General to the President Lee Chun-yi (???) of the DPP, who also attended the opening, pointed out that there had been little progress concerning the Constitutional Amendment Committee at the Legislature.

The ad-hoc committee was formed in 2020 to push for several constitutional amendments that would see the lowering of the voting age, and the abolition of the Examination Yuan and Control Yuan, among other issues.

The conveners of the 39-member committee held their first meeting since May on Dec. 23 to discuss the committee's agenda, but no consensus was reached.

According to the APLMA, animal rights groups have been campaigning since 2020 for a constitutional amendment that would enshrine the protection and welfare of all animals.

The Animal Protection Act, which has been in effect for over two decades, has proven to be insufficient in protecting animals and preventing cruelty cases, APLMA told CNA, mentioning in particular that the effectiveness of the act was often undermined by other regulations.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel