Food

Taiwan makes pet care a national priority with new bureau

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Pet-oriented Taiwan has again raised the bar when it comes to pet care as a national concern by establishing an exclusive pet management division within a key government council. 

Until recently, the business of pets in Taiwan generally fell under the Council of Agriculture (COA). However, COA recently created a pet management section that will be more laser-focused on regulating the pet industry and addressing matters related to pet ownership and welfare. 

The creation of a pet management section is in line with the awaited release of an amended Animal Protection Act, which is expected to strengthen government oversight of the pet industry and guarantee the welfare of animals being kept as pets. 

One of the possible amendments that the new pet management section will enforce is the provision of incentives for domestic manufacturers to produce more pet foods that do not contain genetically modified organisms and utilize domestically grown agricultural products. The COA said the measure would benefit Taiwan’s corn farmers and facilitate exports. In 2020, Taiwan produced 206.5 metric tons of corn. 

Business analytical firms Mordor Intelligence and Business Wire have respectively pegged Taiwan pet food market’s CAGR at 4.0% over the forecast period (2022-2027) and 7.40% by value over the projected period 2022-2026. The latter also projected that the country’s pet industry will register a CAGR of 3.21% by volume during the said period.

Other duties of Taiwan’s pet management section

With an annual budget of NT$150 million, the new pet management section will be in charge of Taiwan’s 2.5 million pet dogs and cats that drive a yearly output value of over NT$500 million (US$17.42 million). The COA estimates national pet population growth at 10% annually, which will translate to 12 million pets by 2040. 

Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen, a pet owner herself, said the amended law will also require pet registration at birth and when the pet changes owners throughout its life to improve traceability and accountability and to help the government crack down on irresponsible pet owners and breeders.

The new pet central office will also keep a list of animal species and breeds that can be kept as pets, following standards of animal welfare, human and animal safety, and determination of what can potentially become invasive species. 

Alma Buelva is a journalist from the Philippines. When she’s not writing about business and technology, she devotes her time to taking care of animals and writing about them, too.

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