Animals in Agriculture:
Regulations in the Republic of China (ROC)

February 25, 2021Zihao Yu

Introduction

The Republic of China (ROC), Taiwan has a series of legislation on animal used in agriculture. The Animal Protection Act provides the general rules for animal welfare and anti-cruelty, the Animal Industry Act provides the basic requirement for the agricultural industries. There are also specific rules on humane slaughtering, labeling, disease prevention and control, and transportation.


Animal Protection Act and Animal Industry Act

Animal Protection Act (2018) was enacted in 1998 and was amended thirteen times from 2000 to 2018.


The term “Animal” refers to “a vertebrate, such as a dog or a cat, reared and tended by human as a pet, an economic animal or a laboratory animal” (Article 3.1.1) in this Act, and “economic animal”, the animal used in agriculture refers to “an animal reared and tended for the production of fur, meat, milk, or for other economic purposes such as labor.” (Article 3.1.2)


The term “dogs, cats, and non-economic animals” is mentioned in Articles 4.2 and 4.3 under Chapter 2 “General protection of animals,” which shows the “economic animals” are treated separately in some contexts. Article 5.1 sets the age requirements for animal owners to be either above 20 or minor with a statutory agent or legal guardian. Article 5.2 sets the general welfare requirement of animals, including providing proper food and water, living environment and shelter, necessary precaution against infectious animal diseases, adequate room for a caged pet, and sufficient out-of-cage activities; preventing the animal from harassment, abuse, or injury; requirement on leash and collar; non-essential or non-medical surgery other than neutering; and the prohibition on towing animals after a car or motorcycle, confining animals in an enclosed space for a long time and abandoning animals. “One must not harass, abuse or injure any animal.” (Article 6)


“Using excessive force or electric stunning to gather and drive animals, or causing harm when branding animals (with sharp tools) during their transport, auction or resting on the way to market/abattoir” (Article 10.1.4) and “Subjecting economic animals in the abattoir to force-feeding of water/food, tying, tossing, hurling, cutting and bleeding without humanly rendering them unconscious first” (Article 10.1.5) are prohibited.

Enforcement Rules of Animal Protection (2013) does not provide special regulation on “economic animals.”


Animal Industry Act 2010 was promulgated in 1998 and amended six times from 1998 to 2010. The Animal Industry Act is designed for “the purposes of regulating and providing guidance to the livestock/poultry farming business, preventing pollution, and facilitating the development of the animal industry.” (Article 1)

The term “livestock” refers to “Cattle, sheep, horse, pig, deer, rabbit and other animals designated by the central competent authority” (Article 3.1.1), and “Poultry” refers to “Chicken, duck, goose, turkey and other fowls designated by the central competent authority.” (Article 3.1.2)

This Act provides regulation on Breeding Flock and Breeding Stock (Chapter 3), Regulation and Guidance of Supply and Market (Chapter 4), Regulation of Livestock and Poultry Slaughter (Chapter 5), Regulations Governing the Dairy Industry (Chapter 6), and Penalty Clauses (Chapter 7). There is no welfare regulation in this Act.


Enforcement Rules of Animal Industry Act (2013) is under the Article 46 of the Animal Industry Act.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Transportation

Article 9 of the Animal Protection Act (2018) is on the requirements for the transporter for animal transportation, and more specific rules are regulated in Measures for the Administration of Animal Transportation (2020) including providing animals with freestanding or lying space, and avoiding mutual harassment and attacking between animals. “Those who transport cattle or sheep for more than twelve hours, or transport pigs or other animals for more than eight hours, should provide drinking water,” and “those who transport animals for more than 24 hours should provide food.” (Measures, Article 9) “When the animals are unloaded from the means of transport to the mooring yard or transfer station during transportation, they should be moored for at least five hours and rest before being loaded and transported by means of transport or containers with clean and fresh bedding.” (Measures, Article 10) Specific rules for certain species of “economic animals” are regulated in an attached document including pig, cow, sheep, chicken, duck, goose, and turkey.

Disease prevention

The Statute on Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Diseases (2019) provides the basic regulation for prevention, inspection, and quarantine for animal diseases. The original document “Statute for Prevention and Control of Infectious Domestic Animal Diseases” was promulgated in 1967, and the name was re-denominated as “Statute for Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Diseases” in 1996. Amendments to this document were made twelve times from 2000 to 2019, and the latest was in December 2019.

The term “prevention and control” refers to “prevention, inspection, and quarantine, etc.” (Article 3). Animals such as “bovines, water buffaloes, horses, mules, donkeys, camels, sheep, goats, rabbits, pigs, dogs, cats, fowls, turkeys, ducks, geese, eels, prawns, tilapia, milkfish, salmons, trout, and other animals as specified by the central competent authority” (Article 4) are covered under this statute.

The owners and keepers of animals or the person in charge of the transportation shall “report to the animal health inspection authorities when their animals are suffering, or suspected of suffering from infectious animal diseases, or when their animals die of unknown causes.” (Article 12) “When the owners dispose of the carcasses by themselves the ways must be burning, burying or disinfection. Selling and the arbitrary disposal of carcasses from the death of illness are prohibited.” (Article 12)


Enforcement Rules of Statute for Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Diseases (2009) was promulgated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs in 1972. The revised versions of Enforcement Rules of Statute for Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Diseases were promulgated by the Council of Agriculture in 1997 and 2002. Several Articles were amended in 2000 (Articles 42 and 43, and deletion of Article 9), 2001 (Article 19), 2009 (Articles 18, 20, 21 and 22, and deletion of Article 9).

The burning or burial of the remains of animals or commodities was regulated in Article 11, including the requirements for burning and burial site selection, methods, environmental standards, and disinfection. “Burning or burial […] should be conducted in places far away from residences, sources of drinking water, river, and roads, and be inaccessible by animals.” (Article 11)

Chapter 4 provides the detailed regulation on export/import and quarantine. (Article 14-30).

Veterinary Drugs Control Act (2016) was promulgated in 1971 and amended and promulgated five times from 2002 to 2016. “This Act is enacted to improve the quality of veterinary drugs, to enhance animal health, and to foster a robust livestock industry.” (Article 1) This Act regulates the requirements and limitation of “new drug,” “counterfeit veterinary drug,” “banned veterinary drug,” and “substandard veterinary drug,” the conduct of “veterinary drug manufacturer” and “veterinary drug dealer,” and the requirements on the license, label, package, and seal of approval. Article 32-3 sets the limitation on using preparations or drugs on animals or in animal feed by animal farmers (of livestock, poultry, and aquaculture) and feed manufacturers.

Photo by Spencer Selover from Pexels

Slaughter

Slaughter is regulated under Animal Protection Act (2018), the Chapter Five of Animal Industry Act (2010) with the Chapter Five of Enforcement Rules of Animal Industry Act (2013), Guidelines for Humane Slaughter of Livestock and Poultry (2008), and Slaughter Operation Guidelines (2020).

Animals that are reared for “obtaining meat, skin, fur, feather or other intended economic gains” (APA, Article 12.1.1) are not covered by “no one shall be allowed to kill animals without due cause” (APA, Article 12.1) and “anyone killing animals for reasons in shall do so in a humane way to minimize animals’ pain” (APA, Article 13.1). The slaughtering of “economic animals” is regulated as “slaughterers of economic animals shall -- on an annual basis -- attend workshops on humane slaughter practices in training programs organized by the competent authority or a delegated entity.” (APA, Article 13.3)

“The central competent authority shall base on actual needs, formulate protocols to put animals to death in a humane way.” (APA, Article 13.2) Under this rule, there are Guidelines for Humane Slaughter of Livestock and Poultry (2008), which is applicable to “livestock and poultry slaughtering operations in slaughterhouses, including the operations of unloading, mooring, driving, holding, stunning and bleeding of livestock and poultry.” (Guidelines, Article 2)

Under Animal Industry Act (2010), Regulation of Livestock and Poultry Slaughter is covered in Chapter Five (AIA, Article 29-32). “The slaughtering of a pig, cattle, goat or other livestock or poultry as designated by the central competent authority for human consumption shall be carried out in a slaughterhouse unless the central competent authority otherwise designates it.” (AIA, Article 29.1.1) “The slaughterhouse shall meet the Establishment Standards for Slaughterhouse set forth jointly by the central competent authority as well as the central industrial and environmental protection authority.” (AIA, Article 30.2) “The slaughterhouse shall comply with the Requirements for Slaughter Operation set forth by the central competent authority.” (AIA, Article 30.3) “Carcasses or viscera that were not inspected or were condemned after inspection shall not be cut, processed, transported, stored or sold for human consumption or with the attempt to provide it for human consumption.” (AIA, Article 32.1) “Carcasses, viscera or their packaging containers that were inspected and passed shall be marked with the “INSPECTED AND PASSED” symbol, the slaughterhouse code, and slaughter date before they are shipped out of the premises; the “PASSED” symbol and the way it is marked will be prescribed by the central competent authority.” (AIA, Article 32.4)

Under the Slaughter Operation Guidelines (2020), requirements on slaughtering livestock and poultry are regulated in Article 12-14. “Mooring fences and walkways should be kept clean to reduce any protruding or sharp objects and other unnecessary obstacles that may cause animal pain or injury, interfere with the direction of the animal’s travel should be avoided, and overcrowding should be avoided to facilitate the driving of the animals. Animal drinking water should be provided in the mooring pen. For animals that need to stay overnight in the mooring pen, there should be sufficient space for the animals to lie down.” (Article 12.2) “Before slaughtering livestock, avoid using electric shock rods as far as possible. The voltage of alternating current electric shock rods should be reduced to below 50 volts.” (Article 12.3)

Labeling

“The labeling, promotion or advertisement of foods, food additives, food cleansers, and food utensils, food containers or packaging designated by the central competent authority in a public announcement shall not be false, exaggerated or misleading.” (Article 28.1, Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation (2019))

Conclusion

According to one source of the Council of the Agriculture (Executive Yuan, 1998), the public awareness of the welfare for the agricultural animal was unclear as “personal ethics,” and animal welfare concepts vary among the difference of the demands of different interest groups. The industry is pursuing benefits and wants to reduce the cost of animal welfare. The consumer has not developed the habit of paying for animal welfare. Research on “economic animal welfare” is relatively low.

More sources on Animals used in Agriculture here.

➦ Share