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The China Post/ANN, AsiaOne
Tuesday, Jun 28, 2016
Taiwan's military on Monday apologised and imposed punishments on a group of soldiers after a viral video footage showed that they had allegedly tortured a dog to death.
In an emergency press conference held on Monday night, Navy Command Headquarters Commander Admiral Huang Shu-kuang issued the apology, saying that he accepted full responsibility for the incident that marred the military's image.
Huang said that the three soldiers, who have all admitted that they were responsible for the killing of the dog, will be sent to legal authorities to be punished in accordance with the Animal Protection Act.
Administrative punishments were also handed out to the three as well as their supervisors, Huang said.
As an animal lover, Huang said he felt "deeply ashamed" of the "unacceptable" behaviour of these soldiers.
But he stressed that their inappropriate behaviour reflected only the actions of individuals.
According to the military, the three soldiers allegedly responsible for the death of the dog are members of the Marine Corps Air Defence Group stationed at Kaohsiung's Shoushan area.
Dog was a months-old puppy
Vice-Admiral Tsai Hong-tu of the Navy Command Headquarters told the same press conference that the incident occurred on June 24 and originated with an order from a squad leader of the group, surnamed Chen, who asked a soldier surnamed Chang to take care of the stray dog after it was found in their unit.
Chang then worked with another solider surnamed Hu to take the dog to a nearby beach before hanging it to death.
As punishment, Tsai said Chen and Chang were each given a major demerit and will be asked to discharge from their service dishonorably as soon as possible. Chang was given another demerit for filming the whole incident with his cellphone. Hu was given a demerit and will be grounded for 10 days.
These soldiers' six supervisors were also given demerits for failing to supervise their behaviours, Tsai said.
The incident was made public by a Kaohsiung city councilor on Sunday after Councilor Chen Hsin-yu posted the video clip online.
The 80-second film shows a white dog being strangled by an iron chain on its neck by a harbour. The soldiers were recorded in the film laughing while torturing the dog to its death.
Warning: Graphic video
Councilor Chen later said the soldiers responsible for the deed are military police stationed at the Air Defence Group based in Kaohsiung.
She said the dog was a few-months-old puppy and that the soldiers who killed the dog should be harshly punished for the act of brutality.
The video was going viral on the internet with many netizens criticising the lack of discipline and brutality.
Soldier shot another dog with air gun
Subsequently, the soldier surnamed Hu has been revealed to have shot another dog with an air gun in April this year. The whole thing was caught on video, with Hu speaking to the camera.
Hu has reportedly admitted to that incident as well, and the authorities will be meting out separate punishments to him for the air gun incident, Sanlih E-Television reported.