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Chinese government releases plan for better zoo care

09 July 2013

  • Chengdu Zoo improved the conditions in its bear enclosures following an enrichment workshop at Animals Asia's China Bear Rescue Centre

    Chengdu Zoo improved the conditions in its bear enclosures following an enrichment workshop at Animals Asia's China Bear Rescue Centre

A document released to zoos across China, giving guidelines for the treatment of animals, has been welcomed by Animals Asia. 

The government-compiled document includes a range of animal-welfare focussed points as well as underlining and continuing its commitment to ending circus performances in traditional zoos.

Within the document, a four-point plan sets out the following requirements of zoos: 

  • Providing animals with husbandry conditions meeting their healthy and physical needs in different periods, supplying comfortable living condition to let them express natural behaviour and ensure normal breeding
  • Providing daily healthcare, setting up animal hospitals to meet animal treatments needs
  • Comprehensively strengthening the training of zookeepers to improve their professional knowledge and forbid any kinds of insulting, torturing, threatening or beating of animals.
  • Banning all kinds of animal performances.

The national zoo development plan mirrors the Directive on Further Strengthening the Management of Zoological Gardens released by the Ministry of Urban and Rural Housing Development (MURHD) in October 2010. Animals Asia believe the national plan and the earlier directive are major milestones in the development of China’s zoo’s and will shape their role as institutions fostering respect for animals and promoting wildlife conservation. 

Animals Asia Animal Welfare Director Dave Neale commented: 

“Our congratulations to MURHD and the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens (CAZG) for the publication of the National Zoo Development Outline.” 

“The development plan demonstrates a significant commitment from the government to end cruel animal entertainment practices including the use of animals in circus performances.  Additionally it promotes investing in the professional development of veterinarians and animal managers to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to provide conditions that meet the behavioural, physical and psychological needs of captive wild animals.” 

“Animals Asia has been working with the CAZG since 2011 and we look forward to our continuing partnership, providing assistance in this field and the development of programmes which foster respect and good welfare for animals and conservation of their habitats.”


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