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Published May 2002 - Last Update Jan 2003
LGVN Animals - Animal Cruelty in the East - Updates

The Chinese Bears Torture

The agonising torture of Chinese bears continues. These creatures are held captive throughout their whole life, held down horizontally by cages which are no bigger than the animals themselves.

The bears cannot move at all and are left to soak in their own urine and faeces, which burns their skin. Permanent tubes are inserted into the live animal to extract bile - a fluid used in traditional Chinese medicine and everything from hair shampoo to wine. Bear bile is sold openly in many recently surveyed shops in Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and the United States.

A recent report by the The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) says that the bears are facing extinction in the wild. The report accuses the farms of accleleratiing the disappearance of Asiatic brown and black bears and sun bears in the wild. more of these bears are sought in the wild to replace those dying on farms. About 7,000 bears are kept at more than 200 farms across China in these excessively cruel conditions. The bears only live to around 10 years in these appalling conditions, which is about a third of their normal life expectancy.

Other related Looking-Glass News stories ... Cruel entertainment of Indian bear dancing

Is China finally responding to global opinion that it mistreats its animals?

The beginning of 2000 saw the launch of a 10 day campaign to crack down on the thriving illegal trade in endangered species, which end up on Chinese dinner plates.

The campaign covered four Chinese provinces and led to the rescue of more than 13,000 animals, 4000 of which were on China's protected species list. It has also led to nearly 400 suspected poachers being arrested. The South China tiger, the Yangtze River dolphin and most notably the giant panda are among the most endangered. But other less well-known snakes, lizards and birds also are widely hunted and sold to restaurants.

The message of compassion appears to reach the Chinese public through various news publications, and it was hoped that the trend towards a more caring view of their wild animals would expand further.

Looking-Glass comments (update):
Globally released reports of the Chinese government's "compassionate" activities should be received with a measure of scepticism. Over the last few years there have been far more political reasons why such displays of compassion are part of the Chinese governments agenda.
China's ongoing discussions with the west regarding international trade openings means it is important that they display a token element of compassion in animal welfare and other humanitarian issues. If they are to be accepted as a viably progressive nation in global conservation then such a display would show to compensate for an otherwise notorious track record of appalling animal treatment.

If there is an element of propaganda involved in this recent turnaround of compassion we hope that the effect will at least influence the Chinese public for the better cause.

Thailand King Petitioned to Stop Dog and Cat Slaughtering

In 2000 Kim Cooling, a British animal compassionate petitioned the King of Thailand to stop the slaughter of some 33,000 dogs, which are killed in the country's northeast every year for their meat and skins.
She presented 6,000 letters and petitions to sway King Bhumibol Adulyadej to stop the suffering and cruelty of the dog skin trade and to generally improve animal welfare in the country. Kim has described the cruel trade as barbaric. The animals are clubbed to death or have their throats slit before they are skinned. The Thailand dog trade is growing alarmingly. Their skins are also used in its leather industry. Now the government has begun to draft a bill that would prevent dogs and cats from being killed for their meat or skins. Dog meat is still openly consumed in the country's rural north-eastern provinces.

Until now, Kim's groundbreaking work in Thailand has been rarely documented through the media. Looking-Glass and VeggieGlobal realigns this oversight and exclusively brings you the story of Kim Cooling.
click here to read this LGVN feature

Piglets Buried Alive in South Korea

In May 2002, The Sunday Times UK carried a pictorial report showing live piglets being poured out of a back of a truck and straight into a pit - alive. An apparent threat of foot and mouth disease in South Korea seems to allow quarantine officers to carry out such barbaric methods of "disposal". The picture was taken in Ansung - south of Seoul.

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