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Gov't regulates wild animal performances
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"Performances that include feeding live animals to wild beasts must be stopped. Wild animal performances should be standardized and applications for wild animal performances that are contrary to human sensibility will not be approved. Forestry authorities will heavily penalize all relevant departments and institutions who organize these kinds of performances," Cao Qinqyao, spokesman for China's State Forestry Administration, stressed on the afternoon of October 7. "People can report to local forestry authorities when they discover these kinds of performances."

A circular issued by the State Forestry Administration on October 4 states that performances that feed live animals to wild beasts should be stopped. Applications for these kinds of wild animal performances should be carefully screened so that they follow principles to improve and protect living natural resources, as well as actively promote their domestication and reasonable development and utilization. "The State Forestry Administration will severely punish authorities who approve performances that include feeding live animals to beasts," Cao Qingyao confirmed via the Xiaoxiang Morning Post.

The circular also includes an in-vivo marker system of live wild animals and a name list covering six species of wild animals that received in the in-vivo marker system in 2006. The system aims to establish individual records for wild animals and strengthen supervision and management as well as efficiently ensure the benign treatment of wild animals. The circular also indicated that publicity and education should be carried out to protest the indiscriminate killing of wild animals.

Public welcomes the circular

The circular won applause on the Internet as long as it was posted. Many people considered it a humanitarian move.

Zhou Guoying, deputy dean of the Resources and Environment Department of the Central South University of Forestry and Technology, welcomed the "prohibition." Zhou said, "The prohibition was helpful for the improvement of Chinese animal welfare. It protects teenagers and develops human morality."

Cruel amusement is forbidden

"There have been many bloody and cruel animal performances in recent years around China, in cities such as Shanghai, Shenzhen and Changsha. They have unwholesome influences on our teenagers. On the one hand, these performances cause young people to believe that animals are born to simply amuse people. On the other hand, it is hard to avoid teenage violence induced by these performances," Cao Qingyao said.

"The move also results from a humanitarian consideration," Cao Qingyao told the Xiaoxiang Morning Post. "More and more people object to these cruel animal shows. Feeding live animals may have irreplaceable advantages for beasts: granted, it's especially helpful for their nutrition and it enables them to retain their natural savagery, but it should not be performed openly."

(China.org.cn by Yang Xi October 9, 2007)

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