China’s ‘two sessions’ 2023: lawmaker calls for legal protections for pets

Suprising to see but welcomed here at Practice Source

  • The proposal by a deputy to the National People’s Congress would close a long-standing loophole in animal cruelty laws
  • Growing numbers of Chinese people are keeping pets, but there are no laws in place to protect them

A Chinese parliamentary deputy has called for legislation to ban the mistreatment of pets – a move that would address a long-standing legal loophole.

“The number of pets and scale of the industry has reached a high level in the country, but miseries like animal torture have been frequently exposed online,” Tang Lijun, a Sichuan-based veterinary surgeon and a delegate to the National People’s Congress, told local news site on Tuesday.

Tang suggested a pet protection law which includes regulations on registration, vaccination and abandonment. The legislation should also penalise pet abuse and consider imprisonment in serious cases, he said.

China has laws to regulate and protect livestock, animals used in laboratories and some wild species, but there is no general law on animal cruelty or protections for pets and stray cats and dogs.

More than 116 million cats and dogs are owned by people in cities, according to a white paper released by the China Pet Industry Association in 2022.

In recent years, viral videos that show cats and dogs being killed have raised public awareness of the issue but it is hard to act against animal abusers.

When multiple Chinese cities imposed Covid lockdowns during the past three years, some government workers prompted a huge public backlash by killing the pets of people who had been quarantined.

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