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With Beijing’s Olympics looming, it’s time to condemn China’s animal cruelty, says activist JENNY MOXHAM
Geelong Advertiser - 15 Jan 2008
DOES anyone else feel uncomfortable about enslaving ourselves to a country where animal cruelty is not only widespread but enjoyed as entertainment? Even if we wanted to boycott this country it would be practically impossible since almost everything in our shops — apart from foodstuffs — now comes from China.
Each year, in China, millions of dogs and cats are cruelly killed by bludgeoning, hanging and slow strangulation with wire nooses and their fur turned into trim and trinkets. Chinese fur is often deliberately mislabelled so that it will be bought by unsuspecting customers around the globe.
There is also no way of knowing whether leather goods that come from China have been sourced from some of the two million dogs and cats killed each year.
Many of the these animals are agonisingly skinned alive in China’s live animal markets. Here, all types of wild and domestic animals can be found crushed into tiny cages without food, water or shelter. These include dogs, cats, birds, deer, boar and reptiles. The killing of all these animals is totally merciless.
Dogs and cats— whether killed for their flesh, skin or both — may be jabbed with metal spikes and dropped from great heights before being bludgeoned and butchered. Dogs may also be blow-torched in front of their fellow victims. The fear is supposed to add an aphrodisiac quality to the flesh.
Crocodiles are stabbed in the neck and then skinned alive while they are still conscious, as are frogs. Turtles have their shells pulled off so that steaks can be hacked from their back muscles. They continue to walk around the market stall until customers have bought enough of their flesh to induce fatal hemorrhaging.
In Chinese zoos, animal suffering is also enjoyed as entertainment. Wild-animal parks have exploded in China, with nearly 30 opening since 1993. These house tens of thousands of tigers, lions, monkeys and other animals. Many conduct live feedings of their captive tigers and lions. Oxen, horses, sheep, cows and pigs are put into the enclosures so that visitors can watch the spectacle.
Goats, which can be petted by the children beforehand, are hurled into these enclosures to be set upon by the pack. Some allow visitors to purchase live chickens, ducks and small birds to feed to the animals. The animals can be dropped down chutes on buses that travel through the compounds. The big cats are kept hungry in order to ensure that they will pursue the purchased prey.
Asiatic black bears are confined to tiny pens on China’s 200-plus bearbile farms. Alternatives to their bile, which some people believe has healing properties, exist but bears are still subjected to crude surgeries in order to implant catheters or to create permanent holes in their abdomens.
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