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Animal welfare is obligation of all

Updated: 2013-11-22 10:02
( China Daily)

Animal welfare is obligation of all

The recent rescue of a pet cat by firefighters in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, has divided public opinion, with some people praising the act and others criticizing it as a waste of public resources. However, it embodies the service philosophy of the fire departments and their respect for life, says an article on Excerpts:

It is the essence of civilization, as well as the moral obligation that every citizen loves and respects life including animals' lives. They have the right to live in an eco-friendly society. To some extent, whether animals are treated well is an indicator of how civilized a city is. It is the obligation of citizens and the responsibility of local governments to provide effective protection for animals.

However, it requires laws and regulations to effectively protect animals. The reason why the cat rescue has caused such a fuss is the lack of legislation. The Law on the Protection of Wildlife is the only law involving animal protection in China, but it only targets crimes such as the smuggling, hunting and killing of wild animals, and does not include animal welfare. Moreover, it only covers limited species in its protection.

Only if a law on the protection of animals is introduced for animals in general, will animals, such as pets, be effectively protected, for example, anyone who abuses an animal must face criminal liability. In particular, a law should be introduced that puts more stress on the importance of animal welfare and emphasizes the most basic rights, from birth to death, of animals of all kinds. Once such a law is implemented, the Yangzhou cat rescue would no longer be disputed.

(China Daily 11/22/2013 page9)