Target: Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China
Goal: Show support for a new bill that would update and improve decades-old animal protection laws
China will soon implement new animal protection laws for the first time in nearly three decades. The law, which is currently being drafted, seeks to reduce the trade and consumption of wild animals, an issue rampant in some parts of the country. It will increase protection for all wildlife and wild animals in captivity, and will even protect animals captured from the wild and forced to perform for entertainment. Most notably, it will be the first time that animal welfare is recognized by the legal system.
Endangered and rare animals are commonly caught for food or traditional medicine purposes. Giant salamander meat, tiger bones, black bear bile, and sea turtle meat are all highly sought-after items that drive black market trade with their high sale prices. Though these animals are protected, there is little enforcement and offenders are rarely prosecuted.
Currently, the only animal protection legislation in China was made in the 1980s, and is outdated and nearly useless in modern times. The law lends no protection to domestic and farm animals, and only limited protection to endangered species. Unlike most modern laws, the legislation includes no guidelines to punish offenders.
A law aimed at protecting the welfare of wild and captive animals could set a precedent for further improvements in China’s animal rights landscape. Sign the petition below to applaud the creation of updated and more comprehensive animal protection legislation, and show your support for the bill’s passing.
Dear Chairman Zhang Dejiang,
China is in the process of drafting its first animal protection bill in nearly three decades. Rather than simply attempting to conserve endangered species, the bill will legally recognize animal welfare. It will help reduce the capture and trade of wild animals for food, and will protect captive wild animals in zoos and circuses.
Wild animals in China face danger from hunters, poachers, and exotic pet traffickers. Some species, including sea turtles and giant salamanders, have been seriously impacted by this excessive hunting, their populations declining significantly.
With current conservation laws in China so outdated, this bill is particularly important. It will help modernize animal welfare in China and could set precedent for further protection of animals, including those on farms and kept as pets. We, the undersigned, applaud the drafting of new animal welfare legislation and support it being signed into law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Sumeet Moghe via WikiMedia Commons