years ago this April, Jill Robinson first walked onto a bear bile farm. On that day in April 1993, Jill could have walked away, but she chose to act and do what she could. Today, you also have a choice. If everyone reading this donated just US$20, it would pay for the care of over 150 bears at our China sanctuary for a full year. Please help us celebrate 20 years of progress. Donate US$20 today (or whatever you can afford).
March 2010: Animals Asia investigators first witnessed the horrific spectacle of “horse-fighting” back in 1997 when we visited Shenzhen Safari Park (formerly known as Xili Lake Safari Park) in Shenzhen, southern China and documented a cruel and astonishing event. Today the practice continues despite our protests to the Government whenever we hear of its re-occurrence in safari parks and zoos across the country.
The practice of horse-fighting originates from a tradition of the Miao minority, who live in southwest China. According to legend, it began about 500 years ago, when two young men fell in love with a beautiful girl. The King of Miao decided to organise a horse-fighting competition so that the winner could then marry the girl in question. Today, especially in the Miao community, horse-fighting has become a regular event to celebrate the Miao New Year during November of each year. However, Animals Asia has found that government officials in Guizhou now actively encourage this cruel event in order to attract tourists, to “help the people to get rid of poverty”. Although not so widespread or popular, it is clear that horse-fighting occurs as a form of gambling and to entertain the visitors and tourists – and other areas such as Guangdong encourage its existence.
Generally, a mare is induced into season through the injection of hormones. She is led out into a ring that contains two roped and tied stallions and paraded in front of them for several minutes in order for them to pick up her scent. Goaded into sexual excitement the two stallions are then released and begin fighting with each other almost straight away while the mare stands just a few feet away. These fights are clearly occurring daily as evidenced by bruised and bloody wounds each time they are led out into the ring. The fights are allowed to continue for several minutes, with the horses relentlessly kicking and biting each other, until one finally runs from the ring. Other, even more disturbing, stories describe a stallion completely restrained while another kicks it to death.
Animals Asia opposes this cruelty and will continue to call upon the government to enact animal protection legislation to ban this practice and other ‘traditions’ which cause abuse and suffering to animals in the name of entertainment.
What you can do Animals Asia never underestimates the power of the written word, and while a single letter or email may not seem like much, the collective expression of many people's opinions can help bring about real change.
This is a repulsive spectacle and we urge supporters of Animals Asia to write to the Chinese Government calling for the adoption of animal protection legislation which bans such cruel practices as ‘horse fighting’. Please write a polite letter to the Chinese Ambassador and send it to the main embassy address in your country. Embassy addresses can be found here.
Working together and with your support we can bring about change for the better for all animals across China.