- SAORI KIKUTANI
The Current State of A Pet Superpower
February 27, 2019
Do you think how many animals are euthanized per year in Japan? Unfortunately, euthanasia is the only option for many animals in Japan.
According to a survey by the Animal Welfare and Management Office, a not-for-profit animal rescue organization survey, the number of killed dogs was 10,424 and that of killed cats was 45,574 in 2016. The total number of the killed dogs and cats was 55,998. About 155 animals are being killed per day, or one animal per 10 minutes (see Figure 1). But shown in the figure, the total number of the pet adoption (the number of pet rescued and protected in the shelter) is decreasing every year. And over the past four decades, the number reduced to one-tenth. It is good tendency, but there are still too much poor pets in Japan.
Figure 1: The Number of Adoption and Euthanasia
Source: The Fact of Killing Stray Dogs and Cats/ Animal Welfare and Management Office outline
Case of Abroad
Germany is advanced country of pets and there is no idea of euthanasia. More than 500 special facility called “Tierheim (shelter)” is located in Germany. Tierheim takes over more than ten thousand animals from the original owners annually. About 90% of them are adopted to new families and 10% of them stay at the shelter for whole life. When new owner wants to adopt an animal, they have to pass the conditions imposed by the Tierheim. How did Germans make the Tierheim? It is run by Tierschutzverein für Berlin(Society for the Protection of Animals in Berlin), a not-for-profit civic organization, and they have fifteen thousand members and ten thousand donors. Member has to donate more than 20€ per year. In addition to the donation, these money support the lives of animals.
Act on Welfare and Management of Animals
We Japan does have a law to protect animals. If you abandon pets, you have to pay a fine of not exceeding one million yen (about 10,000 US dollars). If you kill or hurt animals, you need to pay a fine of no more than two million yen (about 20,000 dollars) or get sentenced up to two years of in jail.
Despite of this law, abandoning of pets are continuously happening. The bill to revise this law submitted to the national Diet in 2018 recommends implanting a microchip into animal’s body. If the pets are implanted a microchip, when they lost their way back to their home, private and public shelter will be able to detect the owners. But some local administration are reluctant to put efforts into a microchip promotion and they don’t even have scanners to read a microchip information.
Don’t Abandon Your Pets
Pet animals cannot survive without human care-givers. Once you keep an animal, you have responsibility to take care of them all through their lives. It is such irresponsible owners and puppy mills who have created those unfortunate animals. They are living beings like humans, and they have emotion, too. But bad owners ignore or behave irresponsibly and they get hurt their pets. Sometimes such behavior might change pets’ characters because strong fear feeling is instilled by humans.
It is very important to take the responsibility of ownership when people want to have a pet. “Feed a dog for three days and he will remember it for three years.” Don’t abandon your pets for any reasons!