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Activists push for animal protection law in China

Activists want tough penalties for the mistreatment of animals, as current laws are lacking  

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(Screenshot from Wonderful Friends) 

From the extraction of bile from live bears to the keeping of endangered species such as Siberian Tigers as pets, one of which jumped from an apartment window in Shandong Province last month, it’s fair to say that animals are not treated well in China.

Chang Jiwen, deputy head of the Resources and Environment Policy Institute, part of the State Council's Development Research Centre, told chinadialogue that the frequency of such cases show relying on people’s morality isn’t working. “China needs a prevention of cruelty to animals law,” he says.

In 2009 Chang headed up a group of experts drafting just such a law. The document was submitted to the National People’s Congress, but to date there has been no response.

During this year’s assembly meetings in Beijing, calls for an anti-animal cruelty law were heard once more. Tenger, an Inner Mongolia singer and member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, put forward a proposal calling for a law to be implemented as soon as possible. In an online poll 550,000 internet users showed their support.

He Hairen, a deputy researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of Law, agrees with that approach. But he wants to see cruelty towards animals treated as a crime of violence – as it is a violent act, which in a sense makes it appear violence is legitimate and legal. “The state should not regard violence towards animals as beneath its concern,” he says, adding that research has shown those who are violent to animals are more likely to harm people.

An Xiang, public interest lawyer and head of the Beijing Dexiang Law Firm, said that if that amendment to the Public Security Administrations Punishments Law is made, cases of cruelty to animals would be be included on the perpetrator’s files – and this would discourage those inclined towards cruelty from acting on their impulses.

Zhang Yue, chair of the Ta Foundation and CCTV host, said that globally the animal conservation movement grew out of anti-cruelty efforts, and that some nations have already moved from the stages of preventing cruelty and ensuring animal welfare to that of animal rights. “And it would be lamentable if we can’t even get started on preventing cruelty,” he says.
 
Pre-revolutionary laws
 
He explains that some people assume protection of animals is a foreign idea, because Western nations countries are more advanced in this respect. But in fact China has a long tradition of treating animals well. In imperial times there were rules against killing young animals or taking bird eggs. In the time of the legendary emperors Yao and Shun it was forbidden at certain times of the year to fell trees or catch fish. In 1934 China had detailed rules, with full legal force, on preventing cruelty to animals.
 
Chang Jiwen said that much of the content of those rules, the 1934 Nanjing Regulations on Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, was “in historical terms, unprecedented.”
 
The regulations defined types of cruel treatment of animals used for food such as horses, mules, cows, cats and dogs. For example cats and dogs were not to be underfed, hit, injured, or left untreated while ill or injured.

China’s political tumult, civil war and revolution put paid to these laws, and in China education has been more concerned with class struggle than the morality of looking after animals, says head of the Capital Animal Welfare Association Qin Xiaona. 

Social conscience

Qin spends her time trying to save small animals such as cats and dogs. On April 15, 2011, there was a high-profile case when she and other dog-lovers saved 500 dogs packed into a truck on the Beijing-Harbin expressway.
 
“When we saw how the dogs were being treated, we had no choice but to buy them. The traders weren’t punished though, and would just have been encouraged to go and catch and steal more pets.”

She added that the lack of a law on animal cruelty has caused problems for her organisation when attempting to rescue animals, as there are no punishments even in obvious cases of cruelty.

According to Qin the frequent cases of animal cruelty over the last decade or more are both an attack on and a challenge to China’s social conscience.
 
“I hope to see a law to protect the animals that live alongside us, rather than allow us to be constantly faced with scenes of cruelty.”

 

 
 

 

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Default avatar
匿名 | Anonymous

我希望中国会尽快有动物权益保护法

中国在此方面声誉非常不好,这恐怕是事实。整个世界都看到中国人如何获取熊的胆汁,以及虐待动物等等。是时候去改变中国的现状了!

I hope China will soon have animal welfare legislation

China has a very bad reputation and unfortunately rightly so. The whole world is watching how China skins animals alive, has bear bile farms, boils cats alive etc. It's time to change China!

Default avatar
匿名 | Anonymous

Please stop Animal cruelty

It's time for a change China!!! The younger generation will hopefully step up and say NO MORE!! To animal cruelty! No animal should ever be tortured for any reason! And to think that China thinks that being cruel to animals will bring them better health is just crazy to me! Unfortunately it should bring the opposite. Bad Carma!
I pray for their eyes to be opened to how horrible what they are doing is
Dogs are trusting of humans

Default avatar
匿名 | Anonymous

Education to stop the future of this madness

Could someone help educate the kids to this? The Zoo and Circus ticket buyers of tomorrow. Elephants have memories, it is well documented. China has been taking Baby Elephants from all over. 20 recently from Zimbabwe.. The Babies are terrified and left in pens to await transport. They will be separated again and sold in China to Zoo's and even worse the Circus's where they will be beaten into submission to perform as commanded. They are doomed because they remember things... they will dream their whole lives of their families and Africa.. and as time goes by they will wonder if it was ever real. The mothers are often comforted by the other mothers in a group, they give their calf's to them to walk with and touch and wash to help with the loss they feel. The Big Males must feel ashamed that they are powerless against these nasty little humans who are so cruel. The shame is us for paying to see them and creating a market for their suffering. Does anyone in China have any way to try and show films of this suffering? I am not targeting China, But this is the New Market and it's getting huge as we speak and more and more will be taken and killed for their tusks and heads.

Default avatar
匿名 | Anonymous

Education to stop the future of this madness

Could someone help educate the kids to this? The Zoo and Circus ticket buyers of tomorrow. Elephants have memories, it is well documented. China has been taking Baby Elephants from all over. 20 recently from Zimbabwe.. The Babies are terrified and left in pens to await transport. They will be separated again and sold in China to Zoo's and even worse the Circus's where they will be beaten into submission to perform as commanded. They are doomed because they remember things... they will dream their whole lives of their families and Africa.. and as time goes by they will wonder if it was ever real. The mothers are often comforted by the other mothers in a group, they give their calf's to them to walk with and touch and wash to help with the loss they feel. The Big Males must feel ashamed that they are powerless against these nasty little humans who are so cruel. The shame is us for paying to see them and creating a market for their suffering. Does anyone in China have any way to try and show films of this suffering? I am not targeting China, But this is the New Market and it's getting huge as we speak and more and more will be taken and killed for their tusks and heads.

Default avatar
匿名 | Anonymous

Change China

It is time to respect animals and treat them with kindness and not be a un civilized society which is cruel to these voiceless entities.