Codifying a “Compassion for Living Things”

Posted by Stephan Otto, ALDF's Director of Legislative Affairs on April 5, 2010

China Considers First Comprehensive Animal Protection Law

Eight years ago, my colleague Pamela Frasch represented ALDF at the first international animal law and protection conference held in China. In the years since then, committed individuals in and around China have been working to draft and build support for the country’s first comprehensive legislation aimed at providing China’s animals with basic protections. Their efforts appear to be gaining traction. An online poll last year found more than 80% of respondents in favor of such legislation.

The first draft of this legislation was released late last year, and its English translation just recently made available.

The proposal categorizes animals in China dependent upon their usage in society and affords them various levels of protections. Categories include: "wild", "economic", "pet", "laboratory" and "other" (e.g. animals used in zoos, for performance, sports, competition and working) animals. Among the many civil and criminal protections included in this landmark legislation are:

  • Protections against cruelty and abandonment [Estimates in Beijing alone place the number stray dogs and cats there at more than 100,000 animals]
  • Restrictions on the indiscriminate killing of vaccinated animals [Disease outbreaks have, in recent years, prompted mass cullings of dogs]
  • Increased regulation of hunting, slaughter and transport of animals
  • Reduction in the use of research animals and improvements in their handling and treatment
  • Education of the public on preventing cruelty
  • Prohibitions on images of cruelty 
  • Prohibitions on tail docking, declawing, defanging and other alterations of an animal’s appearance 
  • Prohibitions against feeding live prey to animals in zoos and wild animal parks
  • Prohibitions on the removal of organs or derivatives from a live animal for commercial purposes

China, the world’s largest and most populated country, is home to over 1.3 billion people, or over 20% of the world’s human population, together with billions of animals. Should this legislation be passed into law, it is arguably positioned to have an impact on more animals than any other single piece of animal protection legislation to date in the world.


8 thoughts on “Codifying a “Compassion for Living Things”

  1. Roberto says:

    Its about time! with all the abuse that goes on in that country,it has been long overdue……..YES YES YES I say, and stop eating cats and dogs…..

  2. Pamela Burns says:

    I sure hope this legislation in China passes, they really need to have basic animal protections in place with all those animals & people; way to go ALDF!

  3. I do not see it mentioned anywhere about the banning of the traditional eating of cats and dogs in many areas, both urban abd rural. Cats and dogs are crammed into cages and beaten to death as it is thought they will taste better. “Dog” is often available on restaurant menus. Very often cats and dogs are skinned alive for their fur. For further proof of this, and to view another organization trying to make a change in these abusive and inhumane treatments, please visit:
    http://www.animalsasia.org

  4. I AM REALLY HAPPY THAT THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT IS GOING TO PASS STRONGER LAWS TO STOP ANIMAL ABUSE IN CHINA. I HOPE THAT THOSE VIDEOS OF CATS,DOGS,RACCONS,SNAKES,TIGERS AND FOXES BEING SKINNED ALIVE FOR THEIR FUR ARE FOREVER GONE. I HAD CRIED SO MUCH THAT I WAS SICK FROM WATCHING THESE TERRIBLE PEOPLE BEATING,HURTING AND KILLING THESE BEAUTIFUL CREATURES. I WILL KEEP THESE IMAGES IN MY MIND FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. I HAD TRIED TO STOP THINKING ABOUT IT BUT IT IS VERY PAINFUL FOR ME TO FORGET THESE ANGELS DYING SUFFERING SO MUCH PAIN. MANY TIMES I FELT ALONE AND THOUGHT THAT THESE PAINFUL DEATHS WERE NEVER GOING TO STOP. I AM CRYING RIGHT NOW BECAUSE I AM SO HAPPY THAT THESE INOCENT VICTIMS ARE NOT GOING TO SUFFER ANYMORE PAIN. GOD BLESS ALL THE PEOPLE THAT HAD SIGNED PETITIONS TO STOP THESE CRIMES. I KNOW THESE PRECIOUS PETS ARE SAFE IN HEAVEN. THANK YOU.

  5. Reagan says:

    Interesting categorization!

    So hopeful that this passes.

  6. Jeeny says:

    I absolutely know how you feel Yesenia..I cried reading your comments, those images haunt me too.
    It is terribly heartbreaking to see and read about the terrible abuse these poor animals go through in China….I, like you, can only hope and pray that these people will change their views and how they think and treat animals and that the day will come when animals in China won’t have to suffer and be treated as objects anymore.
    Let’s spread the voice about the reality of animals’ lives in China and increase awareness so more and more people join this movement.
    God bless these poor animals…

  7. SB says:

    Does anyone else find the “Prohibitions on images of cruelty” disturbing?

  8. sarah says:

    I think it’s great that China is implementing an animal protection law! For a country notorious for its brutality towards animals such as routinely selling the flesh of dogs, cats, scorpions, starfish, etc on streets to be eaten, it’s a big step for China and its citizens. I must say it’s a relief to read about its new law.

    Animals feel pain just as much as we do, and deserve to be treated decently. I hope this will be the first step towards greater animal liberation in China! I read this at PETA’s link http://blog.petaasiapacific.com/legislation/chinaanimalprotectionlaw and am glad people like Pamela and PETA are helping animals live in a better world.

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