China animal welfare law under review while 36,000 dogs culled
Currently, China does not have any type of animal welfare law in place, which means that there is no legal recourse against the cruel treatment and killing of animals.
“The killing of dogs that have rightful owners is a violation of the basic rights of a Chinese citizen,” continues Gabriel. “Although China has no law to prevent cruelty to animals, its Constitution calls for the protection of personal property, which includes rightfully owned companion animals.”
The cull in Hanzhong began in May after several rabies deaths were reported. IFAW has since pleaded with government officials to stop the slaughter and has offered its expertise in the humane prevention of rabies.
Meanwhile, the central government is working with IFAW and other groups to draft national animal welfare legislation which Gabriel says is the only way to ensure the humane treatment of animals for the long-term.
“Hanzhong county and the national government must stop the mass slaughter of dogs and address the real issues here. The root causes of overpopulation and rabies transmission need to be recognized and addressed,” said Gabriel. “Above all else, this includes the need for vaccination and sterilization.”
“We are of course pleased that the draft of China’s first animal welfare legislation is near completion but it is unfortunately too late for the tens of thousands of dogs in Hanzhong,” concluded Gabriel.