China

E
China
Recognising animal protection

Recognising animal protection

This theme examines recognition of animal sentience and the importance of animal protection as a societal value within the country, including government support for the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare, prohibition of cruelty and protection for different categories of animals.

C

Formal recognition of animal sentience

There is legislation with partial application

Article 9 in the Interim Rules on Administration of Domestication, Breeding and Utilisation Technology of Fur-producing Wild Animals (2005) and Articles 2 to 4 in Suggestions on Further Strengthening the Zoo Management (2010) refer to the humane treatment of animals and to or measures to ensure that the animals in question do not suffer, thus recognising an element of sentience.

In relation to animals in zoos, Articles 2 to 4 in Suggestions on Further Strengthening the Zoo Management state requirements to avoid terrifying or infuriating animals, thus recognising elements of sentience beyond physical suffering.

Article 29 of Regulations for the Administration of Laboratorial Animals (Command No. 2, State Scientific and Technological Commission, 1988) requires that those involved in laboratory animal work must love and protect animals, and shall not disrespect or abuse animals. Explanatory detail on the Regulations is provided by the Guidance on Kind Treatment of Laboratory Animals by Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China (No. 398, State Scientific and Technological Commission, 2006). Article 1 notes that the Guidance is composed in compliance with the Regulations, to improve the quality and level of the management of laboratory animals, to maintain animal welfare, promote harmony between humans and nature, and to meet the needs of scientific research, economic development and opening to the outside world. Article 2 provides that kindness to animals, as mentioned in the Guidance, means to take effective measures to avoid unnecessary harm, hunger, discomfort, fear, torture, disease or pain during the process of rearing and using laboratory animals; to allow animals to perform natural behaviours, to enjoy good management and care, to have a clean and comfortable living environment, and to have sufficient and healthy food and water; and to avoid or reduce pain and suffering. This recognition of the need for animals to perform natural behaviours, as well as reference to negative psychological aspects such as fear, shows a recognition of sentience. However this applies only to laboratory animals.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

Although Article 2 in the Guidance on Kind Treatment of Laboratory Animals (2006) only applies to animals used in research, this law has historical significance in showing movement away from a system which takes human rights as the basis for protection.

It is positive that Article 2 addresses the scientific evidence in reference to elements of animal sentience, however it only applies to laboratory animals. Other policy documents and pieces of legislation do not integrate a full recognition of sentience into the system and are limited in scope for the animal species covered. The government is encouraged to incorporate full recognition of animal sentience into relevant legislation and policy.

Management Regulations of Practicing Veterinarians (2008), produced under the Law of the People's Republic of China on Animal Epidemic Prevention (Article 1) provides that practicing veterinarians shall love and protect animals and promote knowledge about animal health and animal welfare (Article 26). These Regulations form the first law giving some level of general protection to all animals.

Some progress has been made in this area. Current animal protection laws demonstrate first steps towards legal protection of animal welfare. Although there is no single law addressing animal protection, animal welfare issues are addressed in several places in lower level legislation.  Society in China is increasingly aware of the concept of animal welfare, and legal protection of animals has grown recently, with increasing scope of application to different species and uses of animals.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

There may be economic and public awareness barriers to obtaining widespread public support for animal welfare legislation. However, in the history of China relevant positive influences can be seen, for example, the consideration that man is an integral part of nature (Lao Zi), the Confucian principle of mercy, and the Buddhist principles of protection of life and of reincarnation. Barriers may be reducing as economic development increases, suggesting that improvement may be possible. However, it has been suggested that swift progress on animal welfare legislation and policy may be unlikely in the short term.[1]

 

[1] https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/5740-Younger-generation-face-long-wait-for-animal-protection-laws-in-China

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are enforcement mechanisms included in the Suggestions on Further Strengthening the Zoo Management (2010) which include inspection, suspension and critical communications.

There are enforcement mechanisms for abuse of laboratory animals in Guidance on Kind Treatment of Laboratory Animals (2006) which include criticism, notice to rectify, dismissal and licence revocation.

G

Support for the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare

There is no government support

The government has not pledged in principle support for the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare.

Note: The Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare is a proposed formal international acknowledgment of a set of principles giving animal welfare due recognition among governments and the international community. An expression of support for the UDAW demonstrates a government’s commitment to working with the international community to improve animal welfare.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

There is no support for the UDAW. Support for the UDAW would be a first step into integrating animal protection considerations into different discussion tables, becoming a soft law source for decision makers interested in improving animal protection in the country.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

The government has not expressed any desire to improve animal protection through support of the UDAW.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are no enforcement mechanisms relevant to this indicator.

D

Laws against causing animal suffering

There is legislation with partial application

Article No. 29 of Regulations for the Administration of Laboratorial Animals (Command No 2, State Scientific and Technological Commission, 1988) requires that those involved in laboratory animal work must love and protect animals, and shall not disrespect or abuse animals. Explanatory detail on the Regulations is provided by the Guidance on Kind Treatment of Laboratory Animals by Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China (No.398, State Scientific and Technological Commission, 2006). Article 2 provides that kindness to animals, as mentioned in the Guidance, means to take effective measures to avoid unnecessary harm, hunger, discomfort, fear, torture, disease or pain during the process of rearing and using laboratory animals; to allow animals to perform natural behaviours, to enjoy good management and care, to have a clean and comfortable living environment, and to have sufficient and healthy food and water; and to avoid or reduce pain and suffering. This applies only to laboratory animals.

Management Regulations of Practicing Veterinarians (2008), produced under the Law of the People's Republic of China on Animal Epidemic Prevention (Article 1) provides that practicing veterinarians shall love and protect animals and promote knowledge about animal health and animal welfare (Article 26). These Regulations form the first law giving some level of general protection to all animals.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

There has been some progress in this area, as demonstrated by the Regulations and Guidance relating to the use of animals in research. A compilation of relevant legislation, the Assemble of Current Chinese Animal Protection Laws (An Xiang), includes details on laboratory wildlife, companion animals and farm animals.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

There may be economic and public awareness barriers to obtaining widespread public support for animal welfare legislation. Barriers may be reducing as economic development increases, suggesting that improvement may be possible. However the lack of a unified system of animal protection legislation does present an obstacle to improvement through the introduction of new protection and enforcement of existing laws.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are enforcement mechanisms for abuse of laboratory animals in Guidance on Kind Treatment of Laboratory Animals (2006) which include criticism, notice to rectify, dismissal and licence revocation.

C

Protecting animals used in farming

There is legislation with partial application

The government has enacted some legislation regarding aspects of farm animal rearing, transport and slaughter, which is based on food safety concerns but which contains elements relevant to animal welfare protection.

Articles 41 to 43 and 53 of the Animal Husbandry Law of the People’s Republic of China (2006) refer to feeding environment and transport conditions. Article 53 requires that transportation of animals must comply with relevant by-laws and regulations and must ensure the safety of livestock and provide necessary space, food and water.

In relation to pigs, Articles 8, 11 and 15 of the Regulations on Administration of Hog Slaughter (2008 Revision) refer to slaughter conditions, operation procedures and techniques, and prohibit injecting pigs with water (a practice used to increase weight before slaughter). Article 13 of the Implementation Methods of Pig Slaughtering Management Regulation (2008) states that slaughtering houses are encouraged to conduct humane slaughtering according to relevant national standards. Technique Standards of Pig Slaughtering (GB/T22569-2008) provide detail.

The Chinese Veterinary Medical Association, under instruction by the Ministry of Agriculture, is drafting General Principles of Animal Welfare. These will be non-binding guidelines on the welfare of various categories of animals, including farm animals, and will include issues such as infrastructure, feeding environment and health.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

In the past decade, there have been some improvements in terms of legal protection of farm animal welfare. At present the law relating to humane slaughtering only applies to pigs; it would be beneficial for this to be extended to other species of farmed animals. It is expected that the General Principles of Animal Welfare, currently under development, should enable improvements in this area. It is positive that the government is taking steps to improve welfare standards for farm animals. The General Principles are aimed at raising the profile of animal welfare within the livestock industry, the impact of which should be felt by farmers, suppliers and consumers alike and should therefore contribute to raising awareness and concern over farm animal welfare in the PRC. As non-compulsory standards they will be limited in their effect from a legal perspective, and other countries with comparable economic status and farming industries have more extensive compulsory and enforced legislation in reference to animals used in farming. However there is potential for the General Principles to act as operational guidance on references to animal welfare within legislation, thus improving the implementation and enforcement of relevant laws.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

The lack of dedicated resources, both human and financial, poses a significant barrier to improving farm animal welfare and it is noted that the country has embraced intensive farming with associated practices that are being restricted or banned in many other countries (for example, the European Union).[1]

However there is some incentive to improving the welfare of the most common species of farmed animals as Chinese consumers are increasingly demanding higher quality food products and are increasingly wary of the use of industrial chemicals and production systems in food production.[2] This financial incentive assists with removing some of the financial barriers to improving the welfare of farmed animals in the PRC. The drafting of the General Principles is a sign of progress in this area. It is also positive that the government has involved international NGO World Animal Protection in drafting certain of the guidelines for farm animals.[3]

 

[1] http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaeltobias/2012/11/02/animal-rights-in-ch...

[2] http://store.mintel.com/consumer-attitudes-towards-food-safety-china-aug...

[3] http://www.rr-asia.oie.int/uploads/tx_oiefiles/RAWS_CG_Mtg_7_March_2014.PDF

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are enforcement mechanisms for the regulations relating to pig slaughter.

C

Protecting animals in captivity

There is legislation with partial application

Articles 2 to 4 in Suggestions on Further Strengthening the Zoo Management include requirements to avoid terrifying or infuriating the animals. This does not cover all animals in captivity however and is limited in its scope for welfare issues. Article 3 requires that, to ensure the welfare and health of animals, zoos must provide suitable feeds of good quality and quantity, and facilities must be suitable for natural behaviour and hygienic needs, with necessary equipment for cold and hot weather. Zoos are required to take necessary measures for disease prevention and treatment and to provide necessary medical care. Animal performances in zoos are prohibited, and zoos are required to avoid frightening or stimulating animals.

Article 22 of the Law on the Protection of Wildlife prohibits trade or raising and breeding wildlife which has been designated under special state protection, except where necessary for scientific research, domestication and breeding, exhibition or other special purposes, in which case approval must be obtained from the department of wildlife administration under the State Council or by a unit authorized by that same department (or in the case of wildlife designated under second class protection, by the department of wildlife administration under the government of the relevant province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government or by a unit authorized by the same department). Article 2 of that Law defines “raising and breeding” as raising and breeding for purposes such as protection, research, scientific experiments, exhibition or other economic purposes.  

The Chinese Veterinary Medical Association, under the Ministry of Agriculture, has begun drafting non-binding guidelines on animal welfare for different categories of animals, including wild animals that have been captured.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

It is positive that Suggestions on Further Strengthening the Zoo Management contains recommendations and guidelines for zoos in the PRC. The guidance and recommendations within Article 2 (4) recognise animal welfare as a unique issue and address it as such. By including animal welfare as a unique issue within this policy, there are also positive steps towards making the welfare of captive animals a mainstream concern in the country. However this only addresses animals in zoos and no other animals held in captivity across the country, and the Law on the Protection of Wildlife provides an approval mechanism for wild animals to be traded and bred for a variety of purposes.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development produced the Suggestions on Further Strengthening the Zoo Management and does not seem to lack resources to implement its guidelines. However there are social and cultural aspects acting as significant barriers to improving captive animal welfare. Animals in captivity still have a wide range of living conditions in the PRC. There are still many zoos and entertainment facilities with significant animal welfare concerns.

In 2010, the largest NGO involved in the welfare of animals kept at zoos and parks in the PRC, Animals Asia, conducted a report on improving standards for animals in zoos in the PRC.[1] This report recognised some improvements in a selection of larger and wealthier zoos in the PRC, however these improvements are limited and most zoos still house animals in conditions focussed on ease of view for visitors and without consideration of animals’ behaviour requirements. Many animals are still housed in bare concrete conditions. As the changes necessary to improve captive animal welfare are large scale and wide spread, the resources needed to achieve this are significant and many zoos and parks would not be able to commit to improvements. The historical use of animals and lack of recognition of animal sentience mean that there is very little pressure from the public for improvements to the living conditions of captive animals, and this is a major economic barrier to improvement in this area.

The widespread industry of bear farming for the purpose of harvesting their bile does not meet international standards in the welfare of wild animals and the importance given to bear bile in traditional Chinese medicine presents a significant barrier to the welfare of captive bears in the PRC.

The popularity of fur in China presents a barrier to progress with respect to the welfare of animals reared for fur.[2]

One of the most significant areas of human-animal interaction is the relationship between farmed animals and their keepers. Law in that area (the Animal Husbandry Law of the People’s Republic of China) contains very little by way of animal welfare considerations. This shows that there are barriers to extending protection to captive wild animals. There may also be difficulties with respect to enforcement and supervision across different areas of the country.

However in recent years there has been some increase in interest and support for animal protection in the country, which raises hope for improvement.[3]

 

[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/09/chinese-zoos-routinely-be_n_675...

[2] http://english.cntv.cn/program/newshour/20130116/105143.shtml

[3] http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaeltobias/2012/11/02/animal-rights-in-ch...

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are administrative enforcement mechanisms included in the Suggestions on Further Strengthening the Zoo Management which include inspection, suspension and critical communications.

D

Protecting companion animals

There is legislation with partial application

There is very limited nationwide policy or legislation related to the welfare of companion animals in the PRC. Article 5.5 of the Inspection Regulation of the Place of Origin for Dogs, Cats and Rabbits (2011) requires that carrying vehicles and cages shall take consideration of animal welfare. The regulation is composed in compliance with Animal Inspection Management Regulations, with the effect of making the operation of the dog and cat meat industry more onerous with inspection procedures.

Some branches of local government have made regulations addressing elements of welfare of companion dogs. Dog Management Regulations in Shanghai, Beijing, Qingdao and Guangzhou prohibit dog owners abusing or abandoning their dogs. Article 19 of the Dog Management Measures of Yang County (2012) requires that breeders provide necessary food and living conditions for their dogs.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

There is a lack of general and detailed provisions at national level addressing the welfare of companion animals. Some regulations at local level represent a first step towards protection of this category of animals. However there is only very limited legislation relevant to this indicator, that is restricted to dogs and only in certain geographic areas. Given the availability of resources and legislation produced for the protection of companion animals worldwide, the government is encouraged to take steps to protect all animals in this category by introducing national policy and legislation on this.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

There are significant barriers to improving the welfare of companion animals such as cats and dogs associated with farming for fur and consumption. Although there is increasing awareness of the need to protect the welfare of companion animals, law and society currently regards animals as mere property or resources, which poses barriers to improvement in this area.

An increase in the popularity of cats and dogs as pets in the country in recent years promotes positive attitudes to animals and should assist with improvement.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are enforcement mechanisms for the local legislation relating to dog management.

D

Protecting animals used for draught and recreation

There is legislation with partial application

The use of animals in performances within zoos has been banned under the Suggestions on Further Strengthening the Zoo Management (Article 3). However this does not extend to stand-alone circuses.

Article 22 of the Law on the Protection of Wildlife prohibits trade or raising and breeding wildlife which has been designated under special state protection, except where necessary for scientific research, domestication and breeding, exhibition or other special purposes, in which case approval must be obtained from the department of wildlife administration under the State Council or by a unit authorized by that same department (or in the case of wildlife designated under second class protection, by the department of wildlife administration under the government of the relevant province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government or by a unit authorised by the same department). Article 2 of that Law defines “raising and breeding” as raising and breeding for purposes such as protection, research, scientific experiments, exhibition or other economic purposes.  

There is no evidence of legislation relating to animal fighting, nor to the welfare of animals used for draught purposes.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

Animals are used widely in circuses and zoo performances throughout the country.

Although Article 2 of the Law on the Protection of Wildlife appears to operate to prohibit trade and raising and breeding wild animals for entertainment purposes, it is understood that the Forestry Bureau has interpreted “other purposes” with a wide scope that permits such activity.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

There has been some progress, as recent reports suggest that some circuses may have been cancelled due to public boycott on animal welfare grounds.[1] Despite this progress, cultural attitudes still present barriers to improvement in this area.

 

[1] http://www.globalanimal.org/2013/10/11/chinese-citizens-cancel-circus-citing-abuse/

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are administrative enforcement mechanisms included in the Suggestions on Further Strengthening the Zoo Management, which include inspection, suspension and critical communications.

C

Protecting animals used in scientific research

There is legislation with partial application

Article 29 of Regulations for the Administration of Laboratory Animals (Command No. 2, State Scientific and Technological Commission, 1988) requires that those involved in laboratory animal work must love and protect animals, and shall not disrespect or abuse animals. Explanatory detail on the Regulations is provided by the Guidance on Kind Treatment of Laboratory Animals by Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China (No. 398, State Scientific and Technological Commission, 2006). Article 1 notes that the Guidance is composed in compliance with the Regulations, to improve the quality and level of the management of laboratory animals, to maintain animal welfare, promote harmony between humans and nature, and to meet the needs of scientific research, economic development and opening to the outside world. Article 2 provides that kindness to animals, as mentioned in the Guidance, means to take effective measures to avoid unnecessary harm, hunger, discomfort, fear, torture, disease or pain during the process of rearing and using laboratory animals; to allow animals to perform natural behaviours, to enjoy good management and care, to have a clean and comfortable living environment, and to have sufficient and healthy food and water; and to avoid or reduce pain and suffering.

Article 5 requires entities which breed or use animals for research to set up a Laboratory Animal Management Committee or a Laboratory Animal Ethics Committee. The Committee’s duties include ensuring that the facility and the living environment of animals meets the requirement of kind treatment; ensuring that practitioners receive necessary training; making reasonable animal experiment implementation plans; and coordinating with personnel to reduce the numbers of animals used to levels of reasonable usage.

Standards are also in development by the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association, under the instruction of the Ministry of Agriculture, for submission to the National Standards Committee.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The existence of legislation on laboratory animals is a positive step towards disseminating the idea that animals in laboratories should be protected. Despite this, it is currently still compulsory for cosmetic products to be tested on animals before being given licenses for sale in the PRC, although there has been a recent minor relaxation of this requirement (Circular 10 (2013) of the China Food and Drug Administration).

At present the legislative situation regarding animal testing is out of alignment with international standards regarding the use of animals in research.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

This area of animal welfare has had a degree of relatively early legal protection, under the Regulations for the Administration of Laboratory Animals (1988). Some recent progress has been made in this area, and in view of new standards in development it may be possible to improve protection for the welfare of animals used in research.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

The Guidance on Kind Treatment of Laboratory Animals contains enforcement mechanisms including criticism, education and notice to improve for relatively minor offences, and dismissal for more serious offences. Licences may be revoked for instances of repeated abuse caused by inappropriate management.

D

Protecting the welfare of wild animals

There is legislation with partial application

The Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Wildlife was adopted in 1988 with the purpose of saving and protecting wildlife and environmental resources. Included in the legislation are some issues that can affect the welfare of wild animals, such as the poaching of wild animals, but the legislation is concerned with conservation of endangered species and with the use of wildlife as natural resources for humans, rather than with the welfare of individual animals. Article 13 provides that “the state will encourage the domestication and breeding of wildlife”. Article 22 prohibits trade or raising and breeding wildlife which has been designated under special state protection, except where necessary for scientific research, domestication and breeding, exhibition or other special purposes, in which case approval must be obtained from the department of wildlife administration under the State Council or by a unit authorized by that same department (or in the case of wildlife designated under second class protection, by the department of wildlife administration under the government of the relevant province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government or by a unit authorised by the same department). Article 2 of that Law defines “raising and breeding” as raising and breeding for purposes such as protection, research, scientific experiments, exhibition or other economic purposes.

The Fisheries Law of the People’s Republic of China also contains provisions referring to the protection and increase of fishery resources, including fish, shrimp and crabs. Articles 20, 22 and 24 contain provisions referring to using explosives, migratory routes and breeding grounds for the animals.

In April 2014 the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress provided judicial interpretation of Articles 341 and 312 of the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, confirming that they prohibit the illegal purchase of state protected wildlife, precious or endangered species and/or their products to be used as food or for other purposes, and thus clearly defining the purchase for food of state protected wildlife as a crime.

In March 2014 the National People’s Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference proposed to revise the law relating to the protection of wildlife, producing a framework of suggestions and a set of draft amendments.[1]

 

[1] http://dongbaowang.org/en/dongbaowang/47

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The conservation of wildlife and endangered species is becoming recognised by society. The legislation in reference to this indicator can associate animal welfare with this sector and therefore allows opportunities to raise awareness and concern about wild animal welfare in the PRC. However animal welfare is not specifically referred to and therefore the legislation does not fully promote this. There are no specific standards, guidelines or recommendations on welfare as the focus is on conservation and resource management.

The judicial interpretation by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of the law relating to trade in protected wild animals should have some positive effect in improving welfare issues relating to captive wild animals.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

Although Article 2 of the Law on the Protection of Wildlife restricts trade and raising and breeding wild animals, it is understood that the Forestry Bureau has interpreted “other purposes” with a wide scope. This conflict may present a barrier to improvement.

The capture and use of exotic animals in traditional Chinese medicine and in food preparation (for example, sharks’ fins) also presents a significant cultural and historic barrier to improvement in this area. The trapping and farming of wild animals for the production of fur is also a major industry in the PRC with major animal welfare concerns. Wildlife protection in legislation treats wild animals as resources rather than considering the welfare of individuals.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are enforcement mechanisms in the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Wildlife, which contains extensive provisions to identify the responsible parties for the administration of the legislation. Articles 15 to 30 give responsibility to the central and local governments to administer the legislation. The duty of every citizen to uphold the legislation is referenced in Article 5. Articles 31 to 39 cover the legal responsibilities of central government to enforce the consequences of non-compliance by both public citizens as well as those within government responsible for the act.

The judicial interpretation by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of the law relating to trade in protected wild animals confirmed that trade in protected animals for food purposes is punishable under the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China.

Governance structures and systems

Governance structures and systems

This theme examines government commitment to improving animal protection. This includes whether there is allocation of responsibility, accountability and resources within government.

D

Government accountability for animal welfare

There is policy

An animal welfare working group was established in 2008 from within the Ministry of Agriculture and has been assigned governmental responsibility for farm animal protection and welfare.

The Ministry for Housing and Urban-Rural Development has produced guidelines specifically referring to animal welfare as a unique issue for zoo management. Here responsibility for animal welfare has not been officially assigned, however it could be assumed that responsibility lies with the Ministry responsible for zoo development in the PRC.

There is however no overall responsibility designated for improving animal welfare in the country in relation to all categories and species of animals. 

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

Through setting up the working group, animal welfare is identified as an individual issue and treated as such. Additionally some research programs in farm animal welfare, such as “Livestock environment stress response in production and transportation and control technology research” have been funded by the Special Fund of Agricultural Ministry and their achievements have been recognised by the OIE.[1] However, the lack of supportive legislation specifically addressing animal welfare and protection in the PRC restricts the outcome of work undertaken by the working group. Additionally, accountability has not been assigned in relation to all categories of animals.

 

[1] http://www.oie.int/eng/AW2012/presentations/PTT%20Session%202/2.7%20Lu-F...

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

There is no evidence of financial barriers within the Ministry of Agriculture. The working group on animal welfare provides some human resource necessary to provide opportunities to improve animal welfare in the PRC. However there remain significant barriers to improving animal welfare through the working group, primarily related to historical treatment of animals as non-sentient property and the lack of national legislation specifically focussed on animal welfare and protection.

Draft legislation proposed in 2009 by an expert group has not yet been proposed to the National People’s Congress, [1] suggesting that there is a lack of political will to improve animal welfare which is itself a barrier for the animal welfare working group in attempts to improve animal welfare in the PRC.

 

[1] http://blog.china.com.cn/home.php?mod=space&uid=1235808&do=blog&id=198117

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There is no evidence of enforcement measures relevant to this indicator.

Animal welfare standards

Animal welfare standards

This theme examines whether the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)’s animal welfare standards have been incorporated into law or policy, the extent of engagement with the OIE on animal welfare issues, and whether the government publishes reports on progress in improving animal welfare.

D

Engagement with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)

There is policy

There have been a variety of OIE Missions to the PRC since OIE Director General Bernard Vallat was invited in 2002. During the first visit a Memorandum Of Understanding was signed with the Ministry of Agriculture stating the PRC’s “strong interest in the work of the OIE and its willingness to take an active part in that work, notably in connection with the PRC’s new membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO)”.[1] Dr Xiao Xiao at the Ministry of Agriculture has been identified as the focal point of contact for animal welfare between the OIE and the PRC. 

During 2004 an interactive relationship was formed following the regional focus on avian influenza, during which the OIE was invited to the Regional Conference on Influenza in Beijing. Subsequently an OIE Mission took place involving OIE expert visitation to the Chinese Institute of Veterinary Drug Control in Beijing, the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, and the National Animal Quarantine Institute in Quingdao.

 

[1] Introductory statement from the OIE Director General for publishing an OIE Mission report to the People’s Republic of China

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The collaboration between the OIE and the PRC on animal health and welfare issues has resulted in some positive steps towards raising the profile of animal welfare in the country. Achievements have been made in research programs funded by the Ministry of Agriculture as well as progress in dog population control in the big cities.[1] However the existing focus of engagement is on health and disease control rather than animal welfare, and there is no national policy or legislation in place recognising the OIE’s standards, which restricts the relationship from being fully effective.

 

[1] http://www.oie.int/eng/AW2012/presentations/PTT%20Session%202/2.7%20Lu-F...

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

The Ministry of Agriculture has financial resources available to improve animal welfare through the PRC’s relationship with the OIE. Additionally Dr Xiao Xiao, Associate Researcher at the Ministry, has been identified as the contact point between the two bodies. Together with the animal welfare working group this should ensure that human resources are not lacking. However, there are social and cultural barriers to improving animal welfare in the PRC that may impede progress.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are no enforcement mechanisms relevant to this indicator.

E

OIE animal welfare standards

Policy is being discussed or developed

Draft legislation proposed by an expert group in 2009 did contain the content of the OIE standards but has not been progressed.[1]  However animal welfare standards for pigs and laboratory animals were developed by the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association for submission to the National Standards Committee in June 2014.  The Association is currently working on developing standards for dairy cattle. The General Principles of Animal Welfare Assessment is the first government law or policy document to explicitly address animal welfare as the core content. The General Principles will include issues such as infrastructure, feeding environment and health, but to a lower standard than the detail of the OIE’s standards in the OIE’s Terrestrial Animal Health Code.

 

[1] http://blog.china.com.cn/home.php?mod=space&uid=1235808&do=blog&id=198117

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

There is no current policy or legislation relevant to this indicator.

However, once the General Principles of Animal Welfare Assessment has been published and distributed, it is hoped that this will assist the general public with an understanding of animal welfare issues and set a foundation for future animal protection legislation.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

China has been a member of the OIE since 2007 and as such has given its support to the OIE’s animal welfare standards and guiding principles for animal welfare. The government is encouraged to incorporate the OIE’s standards and principles within its legislation and policy.

There may be economic and public awareness barriers to improvement, at least in the short term, and possible resistance to some animal welfare improvements on cost grounds.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are no enforcement mechanisms relevant to this indicator.

G

Reporting on progress

There is no policy or legislation

There is no evidence that the government of the PRC publishes any reports on goals related to improving the standards of animal welfare in the country.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

There is no policy or legislation relevant to this indicator. The government is encouraged to develop a coherent strategy on animal welfare improvement and to initiate regular reporting on goals and standards of animal welfare in the PRC. In doing so, animal welfare would be highlighted as a priority issue and could influence other areas of governmental work, contributing towards raising awareness and concern over animal welfare issues in the country.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

There is no policy or legislation relevant to this indicator. Lack of reporting on goals and progress of animal welfare in the PRC poses a significant barrier to improvement. Without regular assessment of conditions, long term gains cannot be made. The central government is encouraged to begin reporting as an important step to improving animal welfare in the country.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are no enforcement mechanisms relevant to this indicator.

Providing humane education

Providing humane education

This theme examines whether issues of animal care and protection are included in the national education system at primary and secondary level, and comments on whether animal welfare issues such as humane handling form part of veterinary medicine education.

E

Education on animal care and protection

Policy is being discussed or developed

There has been progress in incorporating animal care and welfare into the core of the curriculum at Chinese veterinary colleges. Through collaboration with the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association and NGO World Animal Protection, the Ministry of Education has included animal welfare as a topic within the curricula of all Chinese veterinary medicine courses from 2013.[1]  

Government education departments and animal protection NGOs have also cooperated on humane education or received government support, for example in Dalian, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

There is however no evidence that humane education forms part of the school curriculum for any age group.   

 

[1] http://www.worldanimalprotection.ca/latestnews/2013/Alliance-with-chines...

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

Through introducing animal welfare as a core topic in the curricula of all veterinary schools in the PRC, the Ministry of Education has made great steps to enable animal welfare to become a mainstream concern for society.

However without introducing the concept at school level there is still some way to go before measures are fully progressing towards disseminating knowledge of animal welfare into society in the country. The government is encouraged to continue taking these important steps towards better education on animal protection.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

Human and financial resources are available to the Ministry of Education to ensure that the education system contributes to improving animal welfare at all ages. There are however social and cultural barriers to improving animal welfare through education. Traditional Chinese Medicine is taught at many universities in the PRC. Although many aspects of TCM do not have any negative effect on animals or animal welfare, there are some significant animal welfare issues associated with the production of certain products used, such as in farming bears for bile.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There is no evidence of enforcement mechanisms relevant to this indicator.

Promoting communication and awareness

Promoting communication and awareness

This theme examines whether there is government consultation and engagement with relevant stakeholders on animal protection issues, such as the development of new legislation and policy and the licensing of scientific research using animals.

D

Consultation with stakeholders

There is policy

The central government of the PRC has shown some collaboration on animal protection issues with stakeholders such as NGOs, as have local government bodies. The co-operation between the Ministry of Education, Chinese Veterinary Medical Association and NGO World Animal Protection has resulted in animal welfare being introduced as a core topic in all veterinary programs taught in Chinese universities. World Animal Protection has recently been involved with efforts to improve farm animal welfare.[1] NGO Animals Asia has also co-operated with government departments in the Beijing and Sichuan Provinces.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the OIE in 2002 and consultation with OIE expert representatives occurred during the region’s focus on avian influenza in 2004.

There is however no legislation in relation to animal welfare and animal protection that includes reference to ensuring consultation with the relevant stakeholders occurs.

 

[1] http://news.xinhuanet.com/gongyi/2014-10/27/c_127146507.htm

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

National and local government policy of engaging stakeholders such as the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association and NGOs demonstrates recognition of animal welfare as an independent issue and makes steps towards improving animal welfare in the PRC.

However there is no legislation that includes references to stakeholder consultation. There is also no evidence that the central government has included animal welfare as a consideration in the development of other government policy and strategies.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

The Ministry of Agriculture has formed an animal welfare working group and therefore it is considered that human and financial resources are available to ensure that relevant stakeholders are consulted. In the country’s engagement with the OIE a focal point for contact within the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Xiao Xiao, has been identified to ensure consultation is supported in that relationship.

There remain significant barriers in the form of social and cultural practices that jeopardise engagement with important stakeholders however, including the NGO community. The fur, traditional medicine animal product and dog meat industries do not meet international standards of animal welfare and have significant negative impacts on animal welfare in the PRC.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are no enforcement mechanisms relevant to this indicator.

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EIU predicts China’s real GDP will average out at 6.6% for the period 2014-2018. It is expected that the government will “redirect the economy towards private consumption and away from its excessive reliance on investment”. As Chinese exports are becoming less competitive, due to the rising cost of production, a reform of the economic model is required so that household consumption becomes a major driver of growth. Property prices are increasing and it is projected that the construction industry will give the economy a boost in 2013.

 

Date of information: 11/02/2014
Population 
1,350,695,000 (2012)
GDP 
$8,358,363,135,690 (2012)
GDP (PPP) 
$9,233 (2012)
Education expenditure (% of GDP) 
N.A.