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FY 2004 Nationwide Animal Control Questionnaire Survey Report

ALIVE News March, 2006x

ALIVE Publishes the Most Reliable Available Information on the Disposal of Dogs and Cats in Japan
Each year, ALIVE conducts a nationwide survey concerning the handling of abandoned and stray animals by local authorities in Japan (currently 104 local authorities) and issues a report on the situation. At present, ALIVE’s reports contain the most reliable statistical information available on the collection and disposal of animals by local authorities in Japan.
The latest report, covering the 2004 fiscal year (April 2004 ~ March 2005), was published in December 2005. According to the statistics gathered, in FY 2004 a total of 391,754 dogs and cats (147,904 dogs and 243,850 cats) were destroyed by the local authorities. This figure represents an overall reduction of approximately 4,000 animals compared with the previous fiscal year.
In 1997, when ALIVE first began conducting animal control questionnaire surveys, the corresponding figure was 646,600 animals, which indicates that over the past seven years the total number of dogs and cats destroyed annually by local authorities in Japan has fallen by 254,846.
Back in 1974, the first year after the Animal Protection and Control Law came into effect, approximately 1.2 million dogs and cats were being destroyed annually at local authority operated facilities. The fact that the numbers of animals being destroyed have now declined to about one third of that level is a clear sign that there has been a change in consciousness on this issue in Japan over the past three decades.

Since the establishment of the law, the number of dogs being destroyed has declined almost every year, but conversely, the number of cats being destroyed rose substantially thrugh the 1970s and 80s before declining only slightly from the early 1990s until 2004, hovering around the 280,000~300,000 level. In 2004, however, there was a sharp decline in the number of cats destroyed to 243,850, a reduction of 36,000 compared with the previous year. In fact, about 80% of the cats destroyed by local authorities are kittens, and this is considered to be an effect of the popularization of awareness with respect to the need to restrict breeding.

At the end of 2005, a major milestone was reached in Japan

when it emerged that the number of dogs and cats disposed of by being supplied for use in animal experimentation facilities had fallen to zero for the first year ever. It is extremely good news that this practice, which had continued for several decades, has finally been brought to an end.

Numbers of Dogs and Cats Destroyed by Local Authorities in FY 2004


No. of dogs disposed of at owner’s request                 67,101
No. of dogs of unknown ownership seized                   16,618
No. of lost dogs impounded  (returned to owners)       93,638 (15,955)
No. of dogs transferred to new owners                       11,895
No. of dogs supplied to animal experimentation facilities   199
No. of injured dogs  (returned to owners)                     2,628 (369)
No. of dogs destroyed                                              147,904


No. of cats disposed of at owner’s request                 151,189
No. of cats of unknown ownership seized                     94,409
No. of lost cats impounded (returned to owners)            4,126
No. of cats supplied to animal experimentation facilities     130
No. of injured cats  (returned to owners)                       8,976 (103)
No. of cats destroyed                                                 243,850