Striving to be animal welfare ambassadors – Chinese primary school asks the world to protect animals

Chengdu Jinyang Primary School invited Xi Li, an educator from the Animals Asia Foundation, to give an innovative and meaningful lesson to third-graders on animal welfare and humane care education.

According to Li, the five major areas of animal welfare (nutrition, health, environment, behavior, and emotional states) are the scientific standards for judging whether animals are happy. “Firstly, different animals have unique nutritional needs, but they all require a balanced nutrition like humans do. The canines of lions, tigers, and bears are often removed or cut off to reduce injury and mortality in trainers during various performances. Such procedures can cause a variety of dental diseases, affecting the animals’ food intake, which in turn may cause other illnesses. Organizations should provide animals with an environment that is suitable for their nature, instead of harming them deliberately for the entertainment of humans. We should let animals express their natural behaviors freely, as each individual has different behavioral needs.” Li said that a large number of wild animals are still being hunted, rare animals are sold as commodities, pets are abandoned or abused, and animals are required to please tourists in circuses throughout their lives.

The students of Jinyang Primary School make the following requests to students and parents around the world:

  1. Do not watch animal performances;
  2. Do not consume wild animals;
  3. Do not take photos or interact with wild animals within a short distance,
  4. Do not keep wild animals as pets;
  5. Do not ride elephants;
  6. Do not feed wild animals.

Let us all start protecting animals and become animal-welfare ambassadors.

All information comes from china.com

Translated by Sherry Yao

Edited by Andrea Jia and Riley Peng @ Animal Dialogue

China legalizes rhino horns and tiger bones for medicinal use after 25-year ban

On October 29, 2018, The China State Council issued a notice on the strict control of the operation and utilization of rhinoceros and tigers and their products, and simultaneously abolished the former rhino horn and tiger bone trade ban issued in 1993.

The new notice allows the sale, purchase, use, import, and export of rhinoceros and tigers and their products under certain conditions prescribed by law, whereas in the 1993 notice, the above acts were banned entirely.

The issue in focus is the authorization for obtaining products for medicinal use from artificially bred or naturally dead rhinoceros and tigers. Many worry the new regulation may be abused.

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@WildAid

Environmental protection organizations are stunned by the re-opening of the rhinoceros and tiger products market after 25 years of prohibition. While we mourn the loss of the trade ban, let us also examine the example of China’s domestic ivory trade. Since 1981, the Chinese ivory market has opened and closed several times until the latest trade ban in December 2017. Moreover, the period of rampant poaching and rising illegal trade coincided with China’s second opening of the domestic ivory market. TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, stated in its reports that the existence of a legal ivory market leaves some space for the illegal market, raising the demand for ivory and the number of poached African elephants.

With the painful lessons of ivory, we must also pay enough attention to the rhinoceros and tiger market opening, because this may once again lead to an increase in incidences of illegal poaching. At present, the number of wild tigers in the world is only over 3,900, and the number of wild rhinoceros is around 30,000, so protection work is needed urgently.

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@Bandao

Animal Dialogue believes that only by strengthening supervision and making standard requirements for various industries can we prevent the influx of unlawful rhinoceros and tiger products. We propose some suggestions for relevant departments and enterprises listed below:

  1. The government should strengthen the enforcement of the ban by departments such as the customs, public security, and internet supervision.
  2. The authorities ought to release a list of hospitals and physicians who are permitted to utilize rhinoceros and tiger bones in medicine and create clear product labels to inform the public better.
  3. The administrative agencies should establish records of an inventory of products and carry out statistical work on the number of rhinoceros and tigers in zoos, farms, scientific research bases, and so on. They should also audit the inventory and quantity regularly.
  4. Internet businesses should improve the management of websites and e-commerce platforms, delete illegal information about rhinoceros and tiger products from the platform promptly, and actively cooperate with authorities to investigate suspected crimes.
  5. We urge the e-commerce industry to train delivery practitioners to identify rhinoceros horns and tiger bones so they may refuse to deliver suspected rhinoceros and tiger products.
  6. In the process of artificial breeding of rhinoceros and tigers, the farming industry should ensure both the physical and mental welfare of these animals.

Wild animals always belong in nature, and we and all those who love wild animals will continue to pay attention to the protection of wild rhinoceros and tigers as well as illegal market trade.

Update:

On November 12th, China announced it is postponing the lifting of the 1993 ban on rhino horns and tiger bones, after a massive wave of criticism from international conservation groups. The relevant plans have been called off, and the old ban is still in place. China’s stance on wildlife conservation remains unchanged. It will continue to enforce the “three strict bans”: “strictly ban the import and export of rhinos, tigers and their byproducts; strictly ban the sale, purchase, transport, carrying, and mailing of rhinos, tigers, and their byproducts; and strictly ban the use of rhino horns and tiger bones in medicine,” said State Council Executive Deputy Secretary-General Ding Xuedong.

Translated by Andrea Jia

Edited by Riley Peng @ Animal Dialogue

The City of Shenzhen educates youth on appropriate ways to raise dogs in an urban environment

As the typhoon Mangkhut tore through Shenzhen, many people are worried about stray dogs wandering the city’s streets. Discussions about how to reduce the number of stray dogs and how to help them effectively have become heated. On the afternoon of September 21st, the Civilized Dog Raising Lecture was held in the Shenzhen Nanshan Foreign Languages School.

The speakers and the students shared a meaningful experience before the Mid-Autumn Festival. Questions such as how to be a responsible dog owner and how to prevent the increase of stray animals were discussed. To answer these particular questions, the Civilized Dog Raising Lecture introduced ways to care for stray animals and appropriate standards of dog care which resonated well with the students.

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Organized by the Shenzhen Urban Management Bureau with various community organizations, the Civilized Dog Raising Lecture has the theme of “Civilized dog raising and a healthy lifestyle” and strives to promote responsible ownership of dogs. Starting from December 2017, the talks have been held in 20 schools and 30 districts such as Futian, Luohu, Nanshan, Longhua, and Longgang. Vivid and specific with methods that are easy to practice, the speeches are warmly welcomed by students and local dog owners.

Darren Wang, the speaker and the education ambassador of Hong Kong SPCA, began the lecture with comics to entice the students. He specifically focused on elements such as “animal cognition,” “the animals’ needs,” “mistakes in dogs’ upbringing,” and “raising dogs legally.” The students were thoroughly engaged. During the section, “identifying dog habits,” some students participated in the role-playing games and learned how to recognize the emotions of dogs. Using an educational video, Wang taught the students the significance of harmonious coexistence between humans and animals, respect, and looking after the animals’ true needs. Wang also discussed the stray animals that were suffering from the typhoon Mangkhut and addressed the owner’s important responsibility in reducing the number of stray dogs. Wang encouraged students to start taking small steps, such as not abandoning dogs and adopting dogs instead of buying and helping stray dogs.

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Both the students and teachers loved the humorous style of the lecture. The Vice Principal, Li Yiyang, enjoyed the lecture greatly. She also encouraged the students to respect and take care of the animals living around them.

This year, the Shenzhen Urban Management Bureau carried out a series of activities promoting responsible dog ownership from different aspects such as publicity, service, management, and law enforcement. Examples of activities are Year of the Dog Painting Contest, the Best Dog Owner Award, and the Owner Responsibility Neighborhood Outreach, etc.

All information and photos come from sznews.com

Translated by Dule

Edited by Andrea Jia & Riley Peng @ Animal Dialogue

 

 

Parental behaviors of Chinese mountain cats were recorded in the Sanjiangyuan area

For the first time, parental behaviors of the Chinese mountain cat were recorded in the Sanjiangyuan area.

Recently, the childcare activities of the endemic Chinese mountain cat, Felis bieti, were recorded for the first time in a site near Tongtian River, Chengduo County, Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province.

The Chinese mountain cat is the national second-class protected animal in China. It is also one of only two unique carnivores found solely in China, the other one being the giant panda. At present, the Chinese Mountain Cat is seen only in Sichuan, Qinghai, Gansu, and other regions. Due to the species’ elusive nature and limited range, records of their appearance have been minimal for many years. It was only 11 years ago in 2007 that the first photo of a Chinese mountain cat was captured in the wild. It is considered one of the most mysterious felids in the world.

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“From September 20, 2018, one of the infrared cameras deployed in the area of Chengduo County had been recording the breeding nest of a Chinese mountain cat, and it continuously captured the behavior of a Chinese mountain cat mother and two kittens.” Zhao Xiang, the program director of the ShanShui Conservation Center, said. “This survey recorded the activity of a Chinese mountain cat family. The two kittens were 2 to 3 months old, and their mother trained them to hunt preys and perform other skills everyday. Also, the footage was complete.”

The Chinese Mountain Cat is one of the top carnivores in the grassland. They mainly feed on rodents such as pikas and birds. The survey indicated that Chinese mountain cats prey on two plateau pikas every day. Therefore, protecting Chinese Mountain Cats is also very important for maintaining the integrity of the grassland ecosystem.

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“Because the Chinese mountain cat is only found in China, we need to play a more important role in its research and protection,” said Dr. Xiao Lingyun, a researcher at Peking University Nature Conservation and Social Development. He told reporters that currently, the academic community knows very little about their behavior, population status, and other information.

In the future, ShanShui Nature Conservation Center will further cooperate with county officials to conduct long-term evaluation surveys in the surrounding areas to determine the distribution of Chinese mountain cats in the region and threats to the population to implement targeted protection work.

All information and photos come from The China News: http://zdx.forestry.gov.cn/bhxh/640/20181015/000224143262767.html

Translator: Sherry Yao

First edits: Andrea Jia

Final edits: Riley Peng

@Animal Dialogue

Dog film launches a “Love Dog Action”

The cutest movie in the Year of the Dog, The Big Rescue, has teamed up with the China Small Animal Protection Association (CSAPA) to raise funds for the eradication of rabies in China. For each ticket sold, The Big Rescue will donate one yuan to the CSAPA, which will use the funds to feed and immunize stray animals.

The Big Rescue tells the story of a grand partnership formed between man and man’s best friend to rescue kidnapped pooches from a drug ring. Due to its animal protectionist theme, the movie had attracted the attention of CSAPA members since the pre-production stage.

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China Small Animal Protection Association was formally founded in 1992. Based in Beijing, the CSAPA organizes public education campaigns, outreach, and animal rescues. The CSAPA’s mission is to protect animals’ freedom from death, illness, and abuse and to improve the living standards of small animals.

Ms. Liang Ting, the film’s producer, director, and screenwriter, said that the purpose of the film is to “spread the idea of animal protectionism and animals’ equal right to live.”

Ms. Liang Ting added, “Although the public’s animal-loving sentiment is growing stronger, the number of stray animals is steadily rising, which may somewhat increase the risk of diseases in humans.”

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China has the second highest number of reported rabies cases in the world after India. Dr. Fu Zhenfang, a world-renowned rabies expert and the professor of pathology at the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine, said in an interview, “The highest priority of rabies prevention is animal immunization. Animals should be vaccinated in both urban and rural areas.”

The Big Rescue and CSAPA will use the majority of the funds raised to administer rabies vaccines to stray animals in addition to purchasing food and medical supplies.

All information and photos come from ifeng.com

Translated by Andrea Jia and edited by Riley Peng @ Animal Dialogue

The first public interest litigation on endangered animal conservation was held in Kunming, Yunnan

On August 28th, 2018, the very first public interest litigation on endangered animal conservation in China, the case on green peafowl habitat protection, was held in the Environmental Court of Kunming Intermediate People’s Court. The trial opened on the 28th. After three hours of court investigation and debate, the court announced the end of the trial. The sentence would be announced at a later date.

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A green peafowl in its habitat in Kunming, Yunnan @ Wei Zhang, Wild China

In July 2017, to prevent the construction of the Jiasa River-I hydropower station from destroying the last intact green peafowl habitat in China, Friends of Nature brought a lawsuit. The lawsuit demanded that the defendants, the China Hydropower Consulting Group Xinping Co. Ltd and China Power Construction Group Kunming Survey and Design Institute Co. Ltd, halt the construction of the hydropower station in the Jiasa River.

The focus of the case centered around whether the two defendants would cause large-scale destructions to the ecosystems in the inundated areas. The plaintiff, Friends of Nature, stated that the inundated area of the construction project was a habitat with the largest green peafowl population. The construction would result in substantial environmental damage to the critical habitat of green peafowls, and would very likely cause the green peafowls in the region to go extinct.

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@ Xiaosong Zhuang

The representatives from the defendants’ side questioned the professionalism of the plaintiff’s experts. They argued in court that, based on their environmental impact assessment, the construction would cause no considerable damage to the ecosystems and the species.

The construction project is located in a tropical rainforest, where the biodiversity would be tremendously damaged by the hydropower station.

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Currently, the two defendants are waiting for instructions from relevant government departments as to whether or not to resume the construction.

All information and photos come from Friends of Nature: http://www.fon.org.cn/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=13220:2018-08-30-02-37-33&Itemid=176

Translated by Dule and edited by Riley Peng @ Animal Dialogue

Plant-based meats become an investment hotspot — Sophie’s Kitchen perfects its manufacture process to sell plant-based seafood to European and American markets

With the continuous growth of the global population, it has become increasingly difficult to produce enough meat to satisfy global demands. Moreover, animal agriculture and meat processing also damage the environment.

Therefore, 100 % plant-based meats that look and taste exactly like real meat has begun to emerge.

How big is the market for plant-based meats? It is reported that 4% of the world’s population are vegetarians, and this number is on the rise. According to the Vegetarian Association, the U.S. plant-based meat market in 2016 was worth $5 billion and contributed $13.7 billion in sales to the U.S. economy. This is only the U.S. data. The plant-based meat industries in the UK, France, Germany, and other countries are also developing rapidly.

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We learned that the research and development of plant-based protein products and their producers, including Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, have received tremendous financial support, and the number of new companies is also increasing. But these companies place more focus on replacing normal meat products.

Sophie’s Kitchen, which has recently drawn attention from 36Kr, expressed interest in another vertical market for plant-based meats — plant-based seafood, which uses vegan raw materials to mimic the taste, smell, and nutrition of seafood.

Yaoxin Wang, the founder of Sophie’s Kitchen, told the reporter from 36Kr that he chose to enter the seafood market because many people from all over the world are allergic to seafood, and the demand is relatively strong.

According to an epidemiological survey, the number of people allergic to seafood products in the United States has reached 6.9 million, accounting for 2.3% of its total population. The epidemiological survey of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that the incident rate of food allergies in Chinese adults is as high as 6%. The survey identified the major allergens as seafood products and eggs. In addition, the seafood meat structure is more difficult to imitate and has certain technical thresholds.

Sophie’s Kitchen focuses on the imitation of seafood meat structure. This technology is relatively mature. The raw material it uses to substitute fish meat is pea protein powder, and the raw material for substituting soft shell seafood is konjac and seaweed powder. Wang told 36 Kr that they applied for a number of patents for the processing technology. The production process of soft shell seafood substitutes completely differs from the production process of fish substitutes. After completing the imitation of the fleshy structure, Sophie’s Kitchen will optimize taste and nutrients in the next step.

Sophie’s Kitchen’s products are processed in a factory in Taiwan, with a capacity of about 10 tons per month, mainly producing seafood and plant-based meat products. Its products have successfully entered more than 1,000 European and American supermarkets through vendors, with an annual revenue of about 1 million USD.

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Wang told 36 Kr that although their products generate high profits, Sophie’s Kitchen is still limited by the scale of its business and is looking for U.S. investments to finance its expansion. He hopes to increase its number of product carriers to 2,000 and generate a profit of 2 million USD in 2018.

Unlike other plant-based seafood producers who target the restaurant industry, Sophie’s Kitchen mainly sells products through supermarkets.

The Sophie’s Kitchen team currently consists of four people. Its CEO Yaoxin Wang has an MBA from the Columbia Business School, as well as over 20 years of experience in plant-based manufacturing.

All information and photos come from Jiuchisu:https://www.jiuchisu.com/NeWs/17447.htm

Translated by Jiajia Han and Sherry Yao, and edited by Riley Peng @ Animal Dialogue

The 2018 International Alliance of Protected Areas Annual Meeting

From September 13-14, the 2018 International Alliance of Protected Areas Annual Meeting was held in the Baekdu Mountains.

The meeting mainly focused on the role of natural protected areas as the human ecological safety bottomline. Scientists from different countries delivered presentations on different research areas and had a conversation on the functions of ecosystems and the management of protected areas.

The Baekdu Mountains, also called the Changbai Mountains in Chinese, is located in Jilin Province in northeastern China. It is famous for its unique cultural heritage and biodiversity. In the meeting, the Jilin Province representative emphasized the ecological importance of the Baekdu Mountains ecosystems and hoped to further enhance international communication and cooperation on future environmental protection plans.

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In the conference, Wenhua Xiong, Director of the Office of the International Society of Zoological Sciences, the Secretary of the East African Wildlife Insurance Association, and the Nature Guardian Wildlife Development and Research Center jointly signed a tripartite cooperation memorandum, further promoting the development of wildlife conservation in both Africa and China.

Translated by Dule and edited by Riley Peng @ Animal Dialogue

All information and photos come from People.cn: http://env.people.com.cn/n1/2018/0914/c1010-30294686.html

Vegetarian cyclers ride across China to promote a low-carbon, vegetarian lifestyle

Hotpot is a must-have food for those traveling to Shancheng, Chongqing. Tiejun Xie and his fellow cyclers also enjoyed vegetarian hotpot as their first meal upon arriving in Chongqing.

In fact, starting from August 7th in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, in the past month, they cycled for nearly 3,000 kilometers, solely fueled by vegetarian food. Early in the morning on September 10th, cyclers in the “Cycle Vegetarian Journey,” which promotes low-carbon life, just departed from Chongqing to resume their journey and will soon begin their return journey.

1. Why be a vegetarian cycler?

Yucheng Jiang, the organizer of this vegetarian cycling movement, defines vegetarian cycling as an outdoor public welfare activity. It has been held for the third consecutive year. Every year, cyclers ride thousands of miles to promote a low-carbon, healthy lifestyle.

The original intention of Jiang Yucheng and his fellow cyclers was quite simple. He found today’s environmental crises and public health issues worthy of attention. Everyone hopes to do something about it. Vegetarianism and cycling are crucial components of a low-carbon, healthy lifestyle.

Cycling the healthy and low-carbon way: Jiang Yucheng said that in the food production process, vegetarian foods generate much lower carbon emissions than meat. If vegetarian foods can sufficiently fuel cyclers’ immense energy expenditures, normal people can definitely be healthy and strong on a vegetarian diet.

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Delicious vegetarian dishes enjoyed by these cyclers @crl.net

2. Can only vegetarian participate?

This time, after cycling back to his hometown, because he has his own business in Jiangsu, he found it unrealistic to devote all his time to cycling. “Each segment of the journey lasts 7 days. I participate in 4 of them. After all, I have to take time to go back and take care of my work. When exiting from Wuxi, we had 22 people — friends of all ages in various industries, including college students, entrepreneurs, doctors, etc. Some have left, while new people have joined.

Upon arriving in Chongqing, the group consisted of 19 people, and 7 planned on completing the entire ride. Among those taking part in the journey, some have been vegetarian for over ten years. Those who are not vegetarians are also welcome, as long as they are willing to participate and eat vegetarian during the journey.

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@crl.net

3. Vegetarians don’t have enough nutrition?

Jiang Yucheng said that during the ride, both their vegetarian diet and exercise are carried out scientifically. The team plans the route for the next day in advance everyday and adjusts according to road conditions. Their diet plan has been designed by dietitians to ensure sufficient nutritional supply.

All information comes from Xinhua News: http://www.cq.xinhuanet.com/2018-09/10/c_1123404607.htm

All photos come from crl.cn: http://cq.cri.cn/20180910/f1f9af08-c725-41c8-6661-8ab67a495c31-3.html

Translated by Sherry Yao and edited by Riley Peng @ Animal Dialogue

Chimelong Safari Park launches “AR Zoo” in 2018

On July 31st, Chimelong and Baidu jointly held an event to officially launch the “Chimelong AR Zoo” app, an ongoing collaborative project. The two companies are working together to build the very first AR Zoo in the world, providing future visitors with more diverse ways to tour the park.

According to the meeting, the new app is a product of the developing Augmented Reality technology. It is based on many AI techniques from Baidu, such as AR rendering and image recognition. The project has just released the app’s first three main services, including Animal Introduction, AR Camera, and AR Walking Navigation.

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“Animal Introduction” can automatically explain information about animals during the tour. The app also enables visitors to feed and control the movements of the animals, enhancing the interaction between tourists and animals.

“AR Camera” can enable visitors to go on virtual tours around the park and interact with rare species. It also allows visitors to take photos with animals.

“AR Walking Navigation” provides a map of all the buildings and exhibitions in the park, helping the visitors find their way quickly.

Nianhan Wang, the vice CEO of Chimelong, states that the two companies will have more collaborative, innovative projects to provide more smart services for enhancing the visitors’ experiences.

All information and photos come from Bendibao.com: http://m.gz.bendibao.com/tour/242918.html.

Translated by Lele and edited by Riley Peng @ Animal Dialogue