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ANIMALS OF THE WORLD, UNITE!: Other major countries have animal protection laws. Why not China?

In the Taoist and Buddhist traditions, people are urged to treat animals with kindness. However, in China's Maoist era, keeping pets was denounced as bourgeois and forbidden.

LIJIA ZHANG: In a gruesome video, a man pours a kettle of boiling water onto a caged cat, the animal howling desperately. What happened next is equally heartbreaking: the cat was rushed to a vet but couldn’t be saved. Nor could the four unborn kittens found inside it…

The unnamed animal abuser said he was punishing a stray cat for eating his sausage.  According to a statement released by his employer, a security services company, the man had been playing with his pet cat at the end of a working day when it scratched him and he reacted irrationally.

Amid the social media storm, he was sacked from his job and his employer donated 5,000 yuan (US$ 748) for the cat’s treatment. For many, this isn’t enough. Surely there should be a more severe punishment for the loss of five lives. What kind of message does it send to potential animal abusers out there?…

In the Taoist and Buddhist traditions, people are urged to treat animals with kindness. However, in the Maoist era, keeping pets was denounced as bourgeois and forbidden. After China launched reforms, the country channelled its energies into economic development; animal welfare was not a priority.
In 2009, a group of legal scholars drafted a law to protect animals. It didn’t get anywhere, however, because some thought the government should not be putting animal welfare before human welfare…

It is high time China dusted off the proposed law and discuss it at the National People’s Congress. There’s a growing need for such legislation, as pet ownership becomes fashionable among urban, middle-class Chinese. An estimated 92 million dogs and cats are being kept as pets in urban households, but not all the owners know how to treat them…

Besides, the general population is ready for such legislation. According to a 2011 survey of 6,000 people, 81.6 per cent believed an animal welfare law was necessary. Currently, more than 70 jurisdictions in the world have animal cruelty laws. China is the only major industrial nation not to have one…More recently, some progress has been made. Cities such as Qingdao and Suzhou have regulations against cruelty to animals. But there’s no nationwide law yet, even though animal welfare has become an increasingly hot topic…

Apart from legislation, children need to be taught animal rights in school so they will grow up regarding animals –toads and all – as friends… Animals are also living beings that deserve to have rights. A humane society treats animals with kindness. SOURCE…

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