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Animal protection on the agenda for students as exhibition tours China to fight cruelty

20 November 2018

Up to 90,000 Chinese students are set to learn about the importance of animal welfare as part of a new poster exhibition university tour.

Winning entries from Animal Asia’s 4th Design Competition will tour 90 universities across China from November to December bringing a message of animal protection to a vast audience.

The exhibition of posters submitted to Animals Asia’s 2018 Design Competition highlight the need to protect animals in our homes, and those in captivity, from widespread neglect and cruelty.

Animals Asia Cat and Dog Welfare Director Irene Feng said:

“It’s important that the Chinese public consider animal welfare in their everyday lives and decision making. From what to eat, to how to be entertained, to what forms of medicine to use, to whether to adopt a companion animal – many of our decisions affect animal lives, and to reduce animal cruelty, the public must understand animals’ needs.

“This exhibition makes it clear that in many regards, animals are not much different to humans. They have emotions, complex inner lives, and cruelty can never be tolerated. Every life deserves respect.”

Companion animal ownership has skyrocketed in China in recent years with 100 million animals, mostly cats and dogs, registered as of 2015.

But with this has come increased numbers of abandonment as many people purchase puppies and kittens without realising the long-term commitment of their actions.

Captive animal facilities, such as zoos, safari parks and aquariums, have also sprung up around the country in recent years raising animal welfare concerns due to the conditions and the proliferation of animal performances.

Over 400 submissions were received from all round the country, with first place being awarded to Feng Jianghong for her piece, “If the weak one were you”.

Feng Jianghong said:

“I hope to arouse people’s empathy for animals through shifting the position. Do not impose on life what you yourself do not desire.”  

Despite increasing animal welfare awareness, instances of shocking animal cruelty continue to emerge with regularity on Chinese social media.

In 2017, Animals Asia assisted Guangzhou and Anhui politicians to submit proposals for new laws to stop cruelty to animals as well as to ban the dog and cat meat trades. Sadly, despite public support, both proposals failed to gain political traction.

Irene said:

“Introducing legislation to protect animals in China is proving extremely difficult and as a result cruelty is going unchallenged. We may not be able to influence the legal system, but we can influence the public and alert them to the urgent need to protect animals, consider their welfare and stop animal cruelty in their communities.”