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China Animals

“Where’s China’s Animal Protection Law?” – Crowd Gathers to Beat Up Chengdu Dog Abuser

Since the law couldn’t help them, they took matters into their own hands.

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A group of animal welfare activists in Chengdu recently took the law into their own hands when they publicly beat up a man who abused his dog. The incident has triggered online discussions on the legal aspect of the matter. Voices calling for a Chinese animal protection law are growing louder.

It is the news that has been buzzing around Chinese social media for the past days. On August 20, a group of animal protection volunteers hunted down a man who had posted a video of him abusing his dog. They then publicly shamed him and beat him up.

According the Chengdu Business Newspaper, the 30-year-old man was accused of sexually assaulting his female dog, videotaping it, and disseminating the footage for personal gain on social network QQ.

China’s CRI reports that animal protection volunteers had initially tried to turn the man over to police, but failed as there is no specialized law for the protection of pets in China.

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The incident was caught on camera, with a video showing how at least seven people drag the man out of his home without any clothes on. It also shows how they kick him while keeping him on the ground. Other people stand by carrying banners with anti-animal abuse slogans.

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Other pictures show how the dog lovers took the dog out of the home.

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The topic led to heated debates on Chinese social media about who was at fault in this matter, asking whether or not the man’s actions were illegal, and if the animal activist’s actions were ethically and morally correct.

 

“Already, Chinese society is divided into two camps – animal lovers and their opponents. Their conflict could develop into social unrest if the government continues to tolerate animal cruelty – Peter Li.”

 

Many Weibo netizens support the animal welfare activists, saying they have no sympathy for the man: “His actions are inhumane. He needs to be imprisoned, where he deserves to ‘drop the soap’. Let the bastard rot away.”

Some netizens say they do not condone violence, but address the difficult legal aspect, saying that when it comes to the law “these kinds of people often get away”.

China has no laws preventing animal abuse. But recently, the voices calling for legal protection of animals in China have gotten louder. Earlier this month, author Peter Li wrote in the South China Morning Post:

“Already, Chinese society is divided into two camps – animal lovers and their opponents. Their conflict could develop into social unrest if the government continues to tolerate animal cruelty.”

It is noteworthy that Chinese state media have been paying more attention to animal abuse cases, reporting on the different animal abuse issues that sparked outrage amongst Chinese netizens.

 

“A draft for an anti-animal abuse law was proposed by scholars in 2009, but it hasn’t been scheduled on the legislative agenda yet.”

 

Over the past months, multiple incidents involving animal abuse have shocked Chinese netizens. Netizens were also enraged this week over a video of a man cutting open a living dog. The case of a man dragging his dog behind car also sparked national outrage this summer, just as the incident of the woman killed by a tiger at Badaling Wildlife Park attracted netizens’ attention to the zoo’s animal care malpractices and negligence.

The recurring discussions on the annual Yulin dog meat festival also seem to get more heated every year, with people calling out against the animal cruelty that is ubiquitous during the festival.

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Currently, China does have wildlife protection laws, but they do not apply to pets or animals used in laboratory testing. Zhang Xiaohai of Beijing Loving Animals Foundation recently told Sixth Tone: “A draft for an anti-animal abuse law was proposed by scholars in 2009, but it hasn’t been scheduled on the legislative agenda yet.”

 

“China needs to establish anti-animal abuse laws as soon as possible to avoid not only the abuse of animals, but also this sort of abuse of people.”

 

“Our laws are not perfect, but beating someone up is not correct,” one netizen responded to the Chengdu case.

“Who gave them the right to punish him?”, another Weibo user wondered.

Local police (@龙泉警方) went online to inform netizens that both the 30-year-old man and two activists (a 33-year-old male and a 28-year-old woman) have been detained for now. Although animal cruelty is not punishable by law, spreading obscenity is.

“Of course it is not right to beat people,” one female netizen named Silly writes: “but I strongly believe we have to launch the animal protection law. Anyone who has raised and lost a cat knows that it feels like losing a loved one.”

“China needs to establish anti-animal abuse laws as soon as possible to avoid not only the abuse of animals, but also this sort of abuse of people. Assaulting animals and people is both not right, and should not happen,” one netizen pleads.

– By Manya Koetse

©2016 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Manya Koetse is the founder and editor-in-chief of whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer, public speaker, and researcher (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends, digital developments, and new media in an ever-changing China, with a focus on Chinese society, pop culture, and gender issues. She shares her love for hotpot on hotpotambassador.com. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Robert

    October 6, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    Good that’s the news I want to hear. Find these animal abusers and beat them till they are fucking dead. More power to you guys who found 5his fucking coward. Proud of you all

    • Debra D Grossman

      February 14, 2019 at 1:58 am

      China must create laws against animal cruelty. China is about the only nation on earth that allows dogs and cats to beaten to death, boiled, skinned alive and horrifically treated in the most unspeakable ways. Good people in China will not tolerate this. The world is watching and hoping that China will do what is right.

  2. Debra Grossman

    February 14, 2019 at 1:56 am

    Please do all you can to establish laws against animal cruelty. There is not one day that goes by that I am not horrified by the highest level of animal cruelty taking place in China against animals, especially dogs and cats. The world is watching and the world is disgusted and hates what is happening to the animals. Only laws against these hideous acts will stop the violence against animals and humans.

  3. vivek

    February 22, 2019 at 10:03 am

    Good job guys.

    • Melody santia

      May 2, 2019 at 6:49 pm

      U all are heros against animal
      Cruelty.animals are God’s gifts
      For human companion..we live
      In this Universe together
      Nature is what giving us life
      Animals are nature we have no
      Right to destroy it.. all animal
      Want love same as humans. We must
      Protect animal from criminals
      Criminals we hurt humans as well
      Criminality starts with animals
      The sick minded cruel act. We must
      Fight for a better world SAY No to
      Animal abuse

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China Animals

‘Welcome Home, Molly’ – Chinese Zoo Elephant Returns to Kunming after Online Protest

One small step for animal protection in China, one giant leap for Molly the elephant.

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Following online protest and the efforts of animal activists, Molly has returned to the Kunming Zoo where she was born and where mother elephant Mopo is.

The little elephant named Molly is a big topic of discussion on Chinese social media recently.

The popular Asian elephant, born in the Kunming Zoo in 2016, was separated from her mother at the age of two in April of 2018. Molly was then transferred from Kunming Zoo to Qinyang, Jiaozuo (Henan), in exchange for another elephant. Over the past few years, fans of Molly started voicing their concerns online as the elephant was trained to do tricks and performances and to carry around tourists on her back at the Qinyang Swan Lake Ecological Garden (沁阳天鹅湖生态园), the Qinyang Hesheng Forest Zoo (沁阳和生森林动物园), the Jiaozuo Forestry Zoo (焦作森林动物园), and the Zhoukou Safari Park (周口野生动物世界).

Since the summer of 2021, more people started speaking out for Molly’s welfare when they spotted the elephant chained up and seemingly unhappy, forced to do handstands or play harmonica, with Molly’s handlers using iron hooks to coerce her into performing.

Earlier this month, Molly became a big topic on Chinese social media again due to various big accounts on Xiaohongshu and Weibo posting about the ‘Save Molly’ campaign and calling for an elephant performance ban in China (read more).

Although zookeepers denied any animal abuse and previously stated that the elephant is kept in good living conditions and that animal performances are no longer taking place, Molly’s story saw an unexpected turn this week. Thanks to the efforts of online netizens, Molly fans, and animal welfare activists, Molly was removed from Qinyang.

A popular edited image of Molly that has been shared a lot online.

On May 15, the Henan Forestry Bureau – which regulates the holding of all exotic species, including those in city zoos – announced that Molly would return to Kunming in order to provide “better living circumstances” for the elephant. A day later, on Monday, Molly left Qinyang and returned to the Kunming Zoo where she was born. In Kunming, Molly will first receive a thorough health check during the observation period.

Official announcement regarding Molly by the Henan Forestry Administration.

Many online commenters were happy to see Molly returning home. “Finally! This is great news,” many wrote, with others saying: “Please be good to her” and “Finally, after four years of hardship, Molly will be reunited with her mother.”

Besides regular Weibo accounts celebrating Molly’s return to Kunming, various Chinese state media accounts and official accounts (e.g. the Liaocheng Communist Youth League) also posted about Molly’s case and wished her a warm welcome and good wishes. One Weibo post on the matter by China News received over 76,000 likes on Monday.

Although many view the effective online ‘Save Molly’ campaign as an important milestone for animal welfare in China, some animal activists remind others that there are still other elephants in Chinese zoos who need help and better wildlife protection laws. Among them are the elephant Kamuli (卡目里) and two others who are still left in Qinyang.

For years, animal welfare activists in China and in other countries have been calling for Chinese animal protection laws. China does have wildlife protection laws, but they are often conflicting and do not apply to pets and there is no clear anti-animal abuse law.

“I’ll continue to follow this. What are the next arrangements? What is the plan for Molly and the other elephants? How will you guarantee a safe and proper living environment?”

Another Weibo user writes: “This is just a first step, there is much more to be done.”

To follow more updates regarding Molly, check out Twitter user ‘Diving Paddler’ here. We thank them for their contributions to this article.

To read more about zoos and wildlife parks causing online commotion in China, check our articles here.

By Manya Koetse

References (other sources linked to within text)

Arcus Foundation (Ed.). 2021. State of the Apes: Killing, Capture, Trade and Ape Conservation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

China Daily. 2012. “Animal Rights Groups Seek Performance Ban.” China Daily, April 16 http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2012-04/16/content_25152066.htm [Accessed May 1 2022].

Li, Peter J. 2021. Animal Welfare in China: Culture, Politics and Crisis. Sydney: Sydney University Press.

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China and Covid19

Huizhou Pet Dog Beaten to Death by Health Workers while Owners Are in Quarantine

First in Shangrao, now in Huizhou.

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Last November, Chinese social media users were outraged after anti-epidemic workers in Shangrao killed a pet dog while its owner was undergoing quarantine at a nearby hotel. This week, a similar incident has again sparked outrage on Weibo.

On March 2nd, a Samoyed dog was beaten to death by anti-epidemic workers in Huizhou, Guangdong Province. Home security footage of the incident was shared by the dog’s owner (有只雪球), who wrote about it on Weibo on March 4th. Her post was shared over 100,000 times on Saturday afternoon.

The 3-year-old dog named Snowball was left at home while its owners were quarantined elsewhere in Huizhou. The female owner’s boyfriend was confirmed to have Covid-19 and was sent to a designated hospital on March 2nd, while the woman also needed to quarantine due to being a close contact.

That very same day, two epidemic prevention staff members entered the house to disinfect it. The dog owner shared screenshots of a WeChat conversation with the health workers, in which she told them in which room the dog was staying and also told them he was harmless and did not bite. The conversation suggests that the owner was under the assumption that the dog would just be tested for Covid19.

But much to the horror of the owners, their home security camera system allowed them to see how workers used a long stick to hit the dog, and how they continued to beat the dog to death. A video of the incident was also posted on Twitter by @realsexycyborg (warning, viewer discretion is advised, distressing footage and sound).

On March 5th, the official Weibo account of the Huizhou Propaganda Department released a statement on the incident, confirming that the incident had indeed occurred and apologizing for it.

Although the statement said the anti-epidemic workers used a “cruel manner” to kill the dog, it also said that this large dog had been exposed to Covid19 for a prolonged period through its owner and that there allegedly was a high chance that the dog also had caught the Covid19 virus.

The statement further said that the health workers in question have been suspended from their duties and that authorities have contacted the dog’s owners and apologized to them.

Many people on Weibo expressed anger and disbelief that such an incident had occurred again: “This epidemic has been going on for several years, why does this keep happening? First Shangrao, now Huizuo. It’s heartbreaking.”

“Snowball was so scared. I couldn’t breathe when clicking on the video, and Paipai [pet dog] immediately scurried to me with his tail down when he heard the video, dogs can empathize with other dogs, Paipai could hear that Snowball was in danger.”

Other commenters also claimed that more dogs were recently killed by health workers. Guangdong province recently saw a spike in Covid-19 cases, with virtually all cases originating from neighboring Hong Kong.

Some Weibo users pleaded for Chinese laws to prohibit the mistreatment of animals. For many years, animal welfare activists have been calling for better legal protection of animals in China. China currently has no laws preventing animal abuse but over the past few years, the voices calling for the legal protection of animals in China have become louder – in 2020, state media outlet CCTV also called for animal protection laws.

Online anger was further fuelled when hashtag pages relating to this incident were taken offline on Weibo, with the topic being left out of the top trending topics and hot search lists. The Huizhou authorities closed the comment sections underneath their statement.

“What? You’re clamping down on this topic now? Do you think we’re idiots?”, one Weibo user wrote. Another person said “It’s fine if this gets deleted. For communism, your dog is my dog, you beat my death to death, just apologize and it’s ok.”

Another person wrote: “As a Huizhou resident and a pet lover, I really feel horrible about this. Epidemic prevention is important, but it should protect life, not harm life. The loss of moral preventive measures and the indifferent attitude in which this incident was handled afterward is really a disgrace to Huizhou!”

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2022 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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