The Enactment of the Bill for Animal Health Technician and The Revision Proposal of the Act on Welfare and Management of Animals
Two bills related to companion animals had been agreed by the nonpartisan parliamentary associations respectively, and one of them, the bill for the national qualification of animal health technician, was enacted on June 21, 2019.
In Japan, anybody can become an animal nurse as long as he/she passed one of the various private examinations after finishing special curriculums at a university or an animal college. However, the level of their abilities may differ from each other, and it is also possible that they work at animal hospitals even if they did not receive the special education. Thus, a national qualification like those from foreign countries has been required to upgrade their skills and qualification. Our Rakuno Gakuen University has the Department of Veterinary Science in School of Veterinary Medicine to learn basic knowledge about veterinary medicine and animal nurse. The enactment of the law was our long-cherished wish. However, it is regretted that this bill covers only pet nurses. Unfortunately, other nurses such as the livestock nurses or nurses working at the zoo are not included.
For the Act on Welfare and Management of Animals, the parliamentary association, which has been aiming to amend the bill, published following summaries of revised points.
- The penal provisions shall be altered from imprisonment with work for not more than two years or a fine of not more than two million yen to imprisonment with work for not more than five years or a fine of not more than five million yen.
The present ones have been criticized for being lighter than the penalties for the criminal damage of property by some animal rescues.
- Selling puppies and kittens under 56 days old shall be banned except for 6 species of Japanese dogs (Shiba, Kisyu, Shikoku, Hokkaido, Kai, Akita dogs), which are designated as the national nature treasures because of their different animal behavior from Western dogs.
The pet industry, which hoped to sell younger animals, had opposed to that initially. However, eventually, it has accepted 56 days old because big venders have agreed with that.
- The specification of facilities for breeding and the number of reproduction shall be regulated based on concrete figures.
It is expected that a very rough environment for breeding and the excessive reproduction of trendy breeds will be improved.
- Embedding microchips in dogs and cats shall be mandated.
A microchip owns only one individual identification number including a country code, an animal species code, and a maker code, etc. Pets’ owners can receive the information immediately by inquiring their microchips from the database when their pets are lost.
We are pleased with the good news and hope that these two bills contribute to improve the present state.