Taiwan

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National Animal

Formosan Black Bear

“Much of human behavior can be explained by watching the wild beasts around us. They are constantly teaching us things about ourselves and the way of the universe.”

Suzy Kassem

Animals commonly seen in the wild

Marine fauna:

Dolphins, freshwater turtles, sharks, carps.

Birds:

Eagles, kites, buzzards, pheasants, robins, magpies, warblers.

Land mammals:

Wild boar, leopard cats, squirrels, monkeys, mice, bats, weasels.

Snakes and insects:

Slug-eating snakes, geckos, Chinese cobras, vipers, lizards, moths, dragonflies, grasshoppers.

Common sights you will not like

In the city and
on the road

Shen Dzu or God Pig (holy pig) is a festival held annually where pigs are forced fed for months in advance to win the heaviest pig contest. All pigs then get sent to slaughter. Chicken vendors will hold caged chickens on site and slaughter chicken upon request. Animals such as cats, dogs, rabbits, fish, turtles, hamsters, birds and other small animals are sold in night markets and kept in small cages. Stray dogs and cats are commonly seen. The Trap-Neuter-Return method is very common in the northern part of Taiwan trying to control the rising urban stray cat population.

In the
Countryside

Water buffaloes are used for agriculture purposes. The same “Holy Pig” ceremonies can also be witnessed in some rural areas in the country around the lunar new year, where pigs are slaughtered and their bodies are paraded in the village.

General animal welfare issues

The Taiwan Animal Protection Law was promulgated on November 4, 1998. The law was amended in April 2017. Included in the amendment is the ban on the sale and consumption of cat and dog meat.

Hunting or poaching:

Only indigenous peoples can hunt for food during traditional rituals. Shark fining was banned in 2011. However, Taiwan is still a large importer of shark fins from around the world, due to the fact that sharks are not a protected species in the country.

Animal fights:

Animal fights are illegal as stated in Article 10 of their law. However, dog fighting is still heard to be happening under the law enforcement radar.

Main organization for animal rescue and sheltering:

Taiwan SPCA Animals Taiwan PACK

Sanctuaries to visit or volunteer:

N/A

We have not included the treatment of animals in the meat/fur/leather industries, zoos or circuses, animal testing as it unfortunately still happens in most countries.

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