[Ed. Note: Lucia de Vries, Director, Animal Nepal wrote to All-Creatures in late June, 2010: "I write to you from Animal Nepal. I just read a blog on your site about our work (see http://www.all-creatures.org/articles/ar-newanimal.html), written by Sharon Seltzer. We are happy to get some attention but the introduction is incorrect. Nepal does NOT have an animal welfare act. We have lobbied for one for many years but so far the government has not passed one. We are taking the lead in the fight for animal rights but have to do so without a legal framework. "]
Sharon Seltzer on Care2.com
Even before the China Animal Protection Law has been voted on, it is being credited with stopping the latest dog culling that was ordered to begin this week....the building of Nepal's first animal sanctuary for rescued animals and a separate sanctuary for donkeys.
Two far-east countries that are infamous for violations against human
rights are making a very unlikely compassionate leap by instituting their
first policies to protect animals. The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
has passed its first Animal Welfare Act and the People’s Republic of China
has drafted the China Animal Protection Law.
Animal Welfare Act in Nepal
The recently approved Animal Welfare Act in Nepal already has two initial
projects in the works: the building of the country’s first animal sanctuary
for rescued animals and a separate sanctuary for donkeys. Both are scheduled
to open in mid October.
The shelter will house rescued animals and include a veterinary hospital
and spay and neuter clinic.
The donkey sanctuary already has 14 rescued animals waiting to be
transferred to the facility. They are part of a rescue mission from one of
the worst cases of animal cruelty Nepal has ever witnessed – 55 other
donkeys died during that tragedy.
The abuse to donkeys is widespread in Nepal because they are frequently
used for labor and made to carry heavy loads on their backs. They are
crowded into small sheds and given little food or water.
Animal Nepal, a network of animal rights activists, hopes the new Animal
Welfare Act will, “Raise awareness against animal cruelty.” The group has
been fighting for the new law for many years.
The China Animal Protection Law
In China, the Royal Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals
(RSPCA) is very proud of the drafted Animal Protection Law about to be
considered by the Chinese government. The organization has been trying to
get legislation like this passed for more than a decade.
Paul Littlefair, senior program manager with the RSPCA’s international
department said, “It is a very significant landmark – when it is passed it
will be the first time in China’s history that the state is sending a clear
message to every citizen: ‘the way we treat animals, matters’.”
The Chinese Animal Protection Law encompasses a vast area of animal
welfare. It addresses the deliberate cruelty to animals and the inhumane
culling methods used against dogs. It also stops the live skinning of
animals for their fur and the feeding of live farm animals to big cats in
zoos and wildlife parks.
Overall it protects six categories of animals, those on farms, in
laboratories, pets, working animals, animals in entertainment and wild
The RSPCA is committed to staying in China to see that all of these
initiatives are implemented. The group will also promote education to the
public about many of the misconceptions they have regarding animals. Many
Chinese believe the cruel practice of culling dogs is the only method of
destroying rabies and are unaware that vaccines are available for both the
prevention of the disease and to cure it once someone has been affected.
Furthermore the organization will help oversee that the new law is enforced.
Legal experts from the government have put the final touches on the
proposal and sent it to be reviewed. Chang Jiwen, who helped draft the law
said, “It’s different from Western laws. For example, we won’t require
keepers to give dogs shelters as most Chinese cannot afford that. Only
people who unnecessarily and intentionally abuse animals will be punished.”
He hopes regulations in the future will be more sophisticated and move
toward Western laws.
However even before the China Animal Protection Law has been voted on, it is being credited with stopping the latest dog culling that was ordered to begin this week.