China Update: No More Animal Cruelty!

by Mary Haight on September 29, 2009

From the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s Beijing office: China has drafted the country’s first animal welfare legislation, “which would make animal abuse and cruelty a punishable offence. A draft of the Animal Protection Law which outlines the basic standards for treating all animals in different situations is published online for public comment, from a legal conference in Beijing, China.”

This means that the gangs hired to brutally beat to death tens of thousands of dogs as a means to contain rabies will stop. And so will the horrible suffering “in zoos and parks, on farms, markets and the streets, in laboratories and during the process of transport and slaughter. Often ignorant about animals can feel pain, people treat animals only as a “resource” and do the cruelest thing to them. Foxes are skinned alive for their fur. Bears have open wounds in their bodies to extract their bile. Tigers, with their tooth and claws pulled out, are chained to the ground for picture taking with tourists. Cats are boiled alive before they are eaten.”

It’s hard to read and important to know; change can’t happen in a vacuum. And this is a mammoth move for China. Grace Ge Gabriel, IFAWs Asia Regional Director said what we in the West often hear about dog fighting, “The cruel treatment of animals not only results in the suffering of the animals, but also in the degradation of society. Imagine what it does to children to witness these brutal acts, and to grow up thinking that it is appropriate to treat another living creature this way.”

This is what Chinese people want and that will help make this very new way of seeing animals successful. It will take time to get majority cooperation—even in China, the government is not in total control of outposts—but cities and more populated towns will lead the way. A friend of mine has traveled there over the years. It’ll be really interesting to share what she sees the next time she goes.

Read more from IFAW.

Related articles: China Culls Dogs,Threatens Owners; The Foreign Report: China Pet News

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