Let stray cats have a home – Zhejiang Province established its first animal welfare special fund

On September 12th, the “Zhejiang Rainbow Sun Foundation – Morelovecat Special Fund” was founded, and various leaders in academia, corporate, and public welfare foundations attended the founding ceremony.

The founding ceremony.

The growing problem of urban stray cats is detrimental to the urban ecosystem and public health. At the same time, the rapid reproduction of stray cats further aggravates the problem. Besides, due to the unsuitable living environment, fear, and lack of food and water, etc., the life span of stray cats is said to be generally shorter than three years. 

As one of the most common stray animals in the city, stray cats have been cared for and rescued by many people. However, the words and actions of extreme supporters or opposers of stray rescue have sparked heated discussion in Chinese society.

In mainland China, because of the current lack of animal protection law, few official organizations have joined in the urban stray cats’ rescue and management. Strays are more likely to be taken in and cared for by non-governmental organizations.

The Morelovecat Special Fund aims to promote an urban stray cat 100% protection program to help stray cats find homes. The Fund’s mission is to protect the strays every step of the way, from their initial wandering stage to their final homes. 

At the end of the founding ceremony, the sponsors of the Special Fund released the “Morelovecat Novice Pack” to support new cat owners. The pack contains essential pet supplies such as seven days of cat food, cat litter, and food and water bowls.

The “Morelovecat Novice Pack”

Next, they will release information about stray cats through online platforms. They will also seek out prospective cat owners and organize free lectures to promote the urban stray cat 100% protection program.

Stray cat on the street of a Chinese city.

It is great to see an increasing number of NGOs in China engaging in stray animal management. Although the effort has become more organized, official support is crucial. There is still a lot of work for China to do, but great news has come. 

On September 25th, the official website of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China published the “Response to Recommendation No. 5074 of the Second Session of the 13th National People’s Congress”, in response to the National People’s Congress’ “Suggestion of the Enactment of the Law on the Prohibition of Cruelty to Animals”. The Response states that it is necessary to develop legislation to combat animal cruelty and other acts that are widely opposed by the public.

The Response can be found at http://www.moa.gov.cn/gk/jyta/201909/t20190925_6328971.htm

Hopefully, soon, the animal protection laws can be implemented, and more official funds and efforts could join in stray animal management.

References:

http://baijiahao.baidu.com/

http://industry.caijing.com.cn/

Translated by Huiyuan Qi

Edited by Andrea Jia @ Animal Dialogue

Shenzhen enhances animal management practices including mandatory microchips for all dogs

On June 20th, a Shenzhen citizen reported in an open letter to the city about the death of stray dogs due to poor management at a local dog shelter. The message showed dogs in abominable conditions. The majority of the dogs were sick or starving, and emaciated bodies of dead dogs laid around the facility.

A photo from the open letter exposing terrible conditions at the dog shelter.

That afternoon, the Shenzhen Urban Management and Law Enforcement Bureau made a spot check and demanded the dog shelter to rectify the existing problems immediately. Later, the Bureau held a press conference to report the situation and announced that they are building a new shelter facility up to international standards.

This year, Shenzhen focuses on improving dog management. The new “Trap, Neuter, Adopt” (TNA) Project aims to resolve the stray dog problem in the city. The Urban Management and Law Enforcement Bureau will standardize the management of stray dogs as well as encourage adoptions. For example, the Bureau requires all dogs to receive injections of microchips, which prevents losing pets and holds owners accountable for the dogs’ behavior.

In recent years, due to an increasing number of dog attacks in urban public spaces, Chinese municipal governments have initiated rigorous control of pets and stray dogs.

Last November, the Chengdu Police Department began to seize and dispose of 22 breeds of banned dogs in the city’s dog-restricted area.

Hangzhou government also carried out a governance action plan of pet dog control, prohibiting dog-walking from 7 A.M. to 7 P.M. and imposing fines for unleashed walks and unregistered pet dogs.

A toy poodle receiving an ultrasound exam at the 2019 South China Pet Products Exhibition.

In fact, to regulate pet dog ownership and prevent dog attacks, Chinese cities have implemented dog restrictions for many years.

As early as the 1990s, cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, and Wuhan were the first to introduce dog management measures. After merely a decade, dog management measures have been widely adopted in China. The regulations often put specific restrictions on the time and location of dog walks, the number of dogs owned, as well as the height and breed of the pet dogs. Many dog lovers have voiced their concerns that these regulations are unreasonable and cause unnecessary suffering for certain kinds of dogs. Under such circumstances, whether it is necessary to formulate a unified law across China to regulate pet ownership has become a popular topic for the public.

During the 2018 National People’s Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Qian Yefang, standing director of the Chinese Society of Social Law and a professor at the law school of Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics, drew up the “Companion Animal Protection Act”, hoping to promote relevant legislation. Liu Chen, a scholar at the School of Public Administration and Media, Guilin University of Technology, also expressed recently the necessity of legislation concerning pet ownership in the public area to guide pet owners under the law.

All information comes from  http://www.uschinapress.com/ and http://shenzhen.sina.com.cn/

Translated by Vince Wu

Edited by Andrea Jia and Riley Peng @ Animal Dialogue

The Initial Stage of the WWF Snow Leopard Survey Project is a Success

From August 2018 to January 2019, the Tianshan Eastern Forest Administration of Xinjiang province collaborated with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Snow Leopard Protection Project to carry out a four-month winter snow leopard survey in the eastern Wusu administration area. The investigation has brought some great news.

The Eastern Wusu Branch is in the middle of the northern slope of the Tianshan Mountains, covering 150 kilometers from east to west and 10 kilometers from north to south. It is one of the largest government-owned forests in the Tianshan Mountains.

Since the WWF Snow Leopard Project started in the Eastern Tianshan Mountains in August 2018, a series of training programs and field practices in Wusu have been conducted, and a team of Wusu ecological management inspectors has been assembled. A total of 60 infrared camera traps were set up near traces of snow leopard activities (marking, footprints, scat), covering an area of 550 km2, almost 10 times the size of Manhattan.

The habitat of snow leopards at Wusu | Photo Credit: Bing He WWF China

During the winter field survey, the staff found multiple fresh snow leopard footprints, scrapings, and feces. A total of 417 photos and videos were successfully captured by the 25 retrieved infrared cameras, yielding a capture rate of over 80%. It has been fully confirmed that the Wusu forest area is an extremely important snow leopard habitat in the Tianshan Mountains.

The staff has also witnessed the activities of other animals in the wild, which played an important role in establishing the local Biodiversity Database. The ecosystem in this region shows a typical change in vegetation with increasing altitude. The constantly changing vegetations form many transition zones, contributing to the high level of biodiversity in the region.

The footprints of snow leopard found in the wild
Photo Credit: Chong Huang WWF China

It is worth noting that infrared cameras have also captured snow leopards in low-altitude forest areas, yet most scientists believe that snow leopards only inhabit mountain loess (fine-grained clay or silt), meadows, and sparse woodlands. This discovery is of great importance since it shows that snow leopards have strong adaptability in the Tianshan Mountains, Xinjiang.

All information comes from www.wwfchina.org

Translated by Dule

Edited by Andrea Jia and Riley Peng @ Animal Dialogue

Chinese chicken manufacturer recognized for their commitment to chicken welfare

In June 2018, the Jiangsu Lihua Animal Husbandry Co. received the Five-Star Good Chicken Production Award from Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) for their commitment to chicken welfare. Since 2014, CWIF had partnered with the International Cooperation Committee of Animal Welfare (ICCAW) to award Chinese farms according to criteria that equated to stars, and five stars represented the highest achievement in farm welfare. The company became the only manufacturer in Jiangsu Province to receive the award for their high standards. 

The leading brand of chicken meat from the company is called Xueshan (Snow Mountain) Chicken, which is a new type of grass chicken that has been carefully bred by scientists using the high-quality Tibetan chicken and Yunnan Camellia chicken as the primary parent stock. 

Dr. Yuan Qingyan from the company’s technical department explained, “Xueshan Chicken has been selected and bred through many generations. This type of chicken is characterized by their wild nature.” Catering to the chicken’s nature, the housing of the Xueshan Chicken has a natural litter of rice husk as bedding, and is designed to be semi-open with perches. Dr. Yuan has been working in the company for 11 years since she joined Lihua in 2007.

“Chickens naturally enjoy jumping around and resting on perches. Our special perch has earned the Utility Model Patent,” said Dr. Yuan. “Besides, we built large fields with a sand bath area. Chickens can grow in a large area, and they have more opportunity to run around freely and exercise, which improves the meat quality. These chickens are adept at running and flying, and some can even hop up into a tree.”

Dr. Yuan also addressed, “The chicken house environment is controlled to provide a comfortable place for chickens. The daily temperature variation in the chicken house is reduced in the winter. In the summer, the house can be kept very cool.”

The technical regulations for raising Xueshan Chicken in Lihua have been regarded as local farming standards by the Jiangsu government. “The chickens in this system are rarely sick. Accordingly, the amount of medicine used is also reduced, and the food safety is greatly improved.” Dr. Yuan said.

All information comes from js.china.com

Translated by Dule

Edited by Andrea Jia and Riley Peng @ Animal Dialogue

A rare black wolf was confirmed to exist in China for the first time

Recently, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) photographed a very rare female black wolf in Sanjiangyuan National Parkduring a water bird survey conducted with in the Yellow River Source Area. This is the first time that this species has been recorded in this area, confirming the existence of the black wolf in the wild in China.

The wolf had pure blackbodyand white edges on the lips, which was drastically different from the deep yellow and grey fur of the common grey wolf. Li, a survey member who photographed the black wolf, recalled that the black wolf was found on the Gobi Desert, where the surveyteamtracked the black wolf for more than 30 minutes. During this period, the black wolf attempted to hunt Tibetan gazelle and pika, and she eventually went farther into a dry river bed.

The black fur of the wolf is coded by a recessive gene, which is more common in wolves in North America, but very unusual in Asia. Scientists and front-line workers have occasionally heard accounts ofblack wolves from herdsmen, butthere is almost norecorded image data. Hence, the black wolf image taken this time is incredibly precious.

@Baoyu Wei from WWF China

Dr. John Mackinnon, a world-renowned biodiversity conservation scientist, confirmed that this was a black wolf after reviewing the images taken by the investigation team. According to Dr. Mackinnon, since the Sanjianyuan area is open and often covered by snow, wolves with the dominant trait of light-colored fur have better chances at survival, and the percentage of the recessive black-fur gene is very low within the wolf population. For a wolf to have black fur, both parents need to possess the recessive black-fur gene, which is an event of extremely low probability. Therefore, the rare occurrence of a black wolf may suggest the population in Sanjiangyuan is in very good shape in terms of reproduction. 

Dr. Jie Xie, an associate researcher at the Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, also believes that this discovery is of great significance and substantial value to the study of wolves in China. She hopes this information can lead more scholars to conduct in-depth research on Chinese wolves, and she also hopes it will help increase the strength of protection from the public and relevant institutions.

All information and photos come from WWF China

Translated by Jiaxuan Han

Edited by Andrea Jia and Riley Peng @ Animal Dialogue

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