The Chinese government and people fully share the love and care for animals, both domesticated and wild, by people the world over and are committed to promoting animal protection and welfare in China.
In the past three decades, China has developed a body of laws and regulations on animal protection. The Wild Animal Protection Law was promulgated in 1988, under which 257 species were put on the list of wild animals under state protection. 16 wild animal protection centres and 310 protection stations were set up nationwide. With rising living standards in China, keeping pets has become fashionable among city dwellers. It is estimated that there are more than 100 million pets in Chinese families. In Beijing alone, roughly 2.4 billion yuan was spent each year on the 1 million pets in the city.
There has also been greater awareness among the people for animal rights and welfare. There have been numerous instances in which internet users in China condemned acts of cruelty to animals and called for treating animals as friends and with care and dignity.
In response to some appalling cases of animal abuse by some circuses and safari parks, the State Forestry Administration of China (SFA), which is a leading agency for animal protection, has issued new directives nationwide early August to enforce the ban on acts of maltreatment, abusive performances, unwholesome advertising of animals and illegal trade in animal products in zoos, safari parks and circuses. Entities that violate the rules will be suspended, fined, have their licenses revoked or even face prosecution. The SFA has further imposed a moratorium on issuing licenses for domestication and breeding of wild animals under national protection for purposes of public display or entertainment.
The first ever comprehensive animal protection law was drafted last year and is currently in the process of public consultation.
There is still much to be done to better protect animals in China. We are open to constructive ideas and suggestions and remain committed to work with the international community to further enhance animal protection in China.
The Press and Public Affairs Section
Chinese Embassy in the United Kingdom