The Foreign Report – China Pet News

by Mary Haight on July 22, 2009

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Maybe it’s due to the new wealth China is experiencing-the richest person there is a woman whose wealth, it has been said, surpasses JK Rowlings and Oprah’s-but centuries-old customs are being shunned, and the accelerating change in status of dogs and cats as pets is becoming a more broadly accepted one.

By invitation, the RSPCA has been working in China for a decade, gaining support for animal welfare among academics and officials. While roughly 750 million Chinese remain locked in the poverty and pain of subsistence farming, those in cities have moved into something resembling tiered classes, making it possible to focus on something other than the next meal.

There have been recent well-publicized reports of deliberate animal cruelty, condemned by many. Following a rabies outbreak last month, the clubbing to death and other cruel methods used in the indiscriminate killing of 30,000 dogs was not only condemned worldwide, but more importantly by the Chinese people.

The RSPCA recently joined with the International Fund for Animal Welfare in supporting Professor Chang Jiwen’s work with the law committee for animal welfare which includes laws to protect pets and also outlines how farm animals should be raised, transported, and slaughtered. The law may be ready as early as the end of 2009.

“Professor Chang and his colleagues on the committee feel that a basic anti-cruelty law has wide public support and is achievable within the next three years, and that a more comprehensive ‘welfare’ law – perhaps promoting a ‘duty of care’ – is expected in the future.”

Even dog and cat meat markets, whose vendors routinely kill live animals purchased for consumption, have been affected by the new generation’s sensibilities.  Those vendors nearest to cities are frequented by protesters.  Great grandparents and grandparents are being scolded and shamed by their own grandchildren for their food traditions.

Outside influence can spark ideas, but lasting change only happens from within. Stay tuned.  Read more…

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  1. […] earlier this year on the heels of the first major massacre of around 30,000 dogs was reported here Foreign Report – China Pet News in […]

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