Taiwan Church News
November 21 - 27, 2016
Salvation In Wildness: How To Reconcile The Conflict Between Animal Protection And Aboriginal Hunting?
Reported by Chiu Kuo-rong
On November 20, a seminar entitled as "Salvation In Wildness", and organized by NTU's Veterinary Medicine Department and the Book Club of Contemporary Thoughts for Animal, was held at the speech hall of NTU's Veterinary Medicine Department.
Nine scholars and experts, experienced in the fields of animal rights and protection, animal protection movement, wild life conservation, aboriginal rights, and aboriginal hunting, were invited to deliver their thoughts on the major question of this seminar: How To Reconcile The Conflict Between Animal Protection And Aboriginal Hunting?
Prof Pei Jai-chyi, Dean of College of Environmental Studies at National Dong Hwa University, pointed out in a straight forward critique that Taiwan's hunting is notoriously out of control in practice since the implementation of Wildlife Conservation Act in 1989. Taking the glaring sentence of Bunun hunter, Talum, for three years and six months as an example, Prof Pei challenged the audience to ask themselves a question: whether this verdict is helpful to forge a harmonious relationship between the aboriginal culture and tribal inhabitants or not?
On the other hand, Prof Pei reminded the audience about the scandalous event that Council Representative Lin Chiuo-tai of Tong-luo Shiang of Miaoli County could shamelessly boasted to the media, during an environmental evaluation of outer circumferential road of Tai-13th Avenue, that the population of leopard act - an endangered species called Prionailurus bengalensis - were too many like the wild dogs in his home town. In addition, it was a great irony that more leopard cats were hunted down to become a dish on the table of local people yet without any criminal charge!
Mr Chu Tseng-hon, chief executive officer of Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan, remarked "It is a historical truth that the aboriginal were devastatingly exploited by the past colonial regimes in Taiwan, but their brutal looting of the silent animals and plants on this island were also an undeniable fact. Therefore, the point should not focus on the aboriginal themselves or a connection between the aboriginal and their lands. Instead, a healthy triangular relationship between human being, land, and environments should be restored!"
Simply put, the solution of the conflicts between animal rights and aboriginal hunting is about environmental justice, not transformative justice. The collective hunting rights of the aboriginal should be an ecological or geographical concern, instead of a geopolitical deliberation pre-supposing the heterogeneous aboriginal peoples as a single tribe, said Mr Chu.
In the mean time, Dr Wang Yu-cheng, an associate professor of NCKU's Department of Law, criticized that Taiwan's current practice to subject the aboriginal hunting rights under the administration of the Council of Agriculture is quite inappropriate and detrimental. As the issue of the aboriginal hunting right belongs to a national-wide level, "I don't think the Council of Agriculture has enough ammunition to solve this contentious issue via a legal code as Wildlife Conservation Act only", remarked Dr Wang.
Translated by Peter Wolfe
An seminar entitled as "Salvation In Wildness", organized by NTU's Veterinary Medicine Department and the Book Club of Contemporary Thoughts for Animal with a purpose to solve the conflict between animal protection and aboriginal hunting, was held at the speech hall of NTU's Veterinary Medicine Department on 20 November, 2016.
Photo by Chiu Kuo-rong