Earlier this week, the Taiwan Animal Protection Party was officially launched in the city of Taipei, where hundreds of supporters, politicians, and business leaders gathered for an inauguration ceremony that included a blessing of the animals by Buddhist monks. After a round of speeches, a vote for party leader was held, and Hua Pei-chun was elected to the position of executive officer. The party was founded, she said, to unify people and politicians who support animal rights so they can work together to pass humane legislation. “The animal rights movement has a large support base, but its momentum is diffused by different campaigns,” she told the Taipei Times. “The legislation of progressive laws requires consistent output and solidarity.” The party hopes to win seats on local councils and in the national legislature so they can push for improvements in the treatment of all animals in the country, from companion animals to farmed animals.