Proposed animal welfare law watered down

0 CommentsPrint E-mail, January 26, 2010
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Legal experts drafting China's first animal protection law have removed some animal welfare provisions from the legislation following public objections, Beijing Legal Evening News reported on January 25.

Chang Jiwen, director of the animal protection legislation project panel, said that during a four month public consultation that began last September, drafters of the bill received over 300 emails and more than 400 telephone calls.

Some residents cannot accept the proposals related to 'animal protection' or 'welfare for animals'.

"Most of the opinions were objective, but some residents said they cannot accept the proposals related to 'animal protection' or 'welfare for animals' because they think that the first priority is to protect human welfare," Chang said.

Legal experts decided to modify the draft law to concentrate on outlawing cruelty to animals. The revised draft will be presented to the authorities for consideration in April 2010.

The draft law defines cruelty as inflicting unnecessary pain or harm on animals or using cruel methods to slaughter animals. The drafting panel said that the anti-cruelty measures will be easier for the public to accept.

Chang, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Institute of Law, said the draft law includes provisions covering animal abuse prevention, animal healthcare, transportation and slaughter.

The draft also includes a ban on the use of cat and dog meat.

The China Native Produce and Animal Product Import and Export Corporation supports the draft legislation because it may help remove trade barriers faced by China's exports of products such as wool and feathers.

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