I am sensing the very early signs of a desire to introduce animal welfare legislation in China. At the moment there is none and the pet industry is expanding rapidly. There is a demand for regulations in a country where cat and dog ownership is also increasing rapidly.
He Hairen, a researcher in legal studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), said that a legal framework is needed urgently on various issues to do with pets including regulating manufacturers in the pet food market and legislation to guide the conduct of pet owners to minimize cruelty towards animals. On pet food, China has a poor record.
It is the first time that I have noticed a person in authority in China suggesting that the country needs animal welfare laws.
In line with increased pet ownership there is an increase in cat breeding in China. Again, there are no regulations or laws governing cat breeding in this country and therefore there is a weakness in the system. There are inherent risks with cat breeding in respect of health and welfare issues. Driven by money cat breeders can de-prioritize welfare. There is a need to push them to prioritize it. It is said that pet breeding in China has got out of hand resulting in an increased number of unwanted stray animals.
China has cat cafes and animal rescue organizations. They have all the bits and pieces of the pet market without the law to provide stability and structure.
Perhaps it might be useful to start with Beijing, the capital of China. If the city governors and lawmakers could create some legislation regulating pet ownership to encourage responsible cat and dog caretaking that would be a great start.
Kanshiro Miyamoto, emeritus professor of Kansai University said:
“I am happy to see that Chinese society is becoming more aware of the feline charisma”.
China has a very powerful economy which is rapidly expanding. The middle classes are becoming wealthy. They spend their disposable income on travel and holidays and it seems cat and dog ownership. The law in China is lagging behind. There is a pressing need to introduce standard animal welfare legislation. There are many excellent examples which can be tailored to China. This is the time to do it. Let’s see it.