Opinion / Opinion Line

Animal rights activists must not violate law

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-08-23 07:38

Animal rights activists must not violate law

A worker feeds forage to Zika deer at a farm in Yanbian, Northeast China's Jilin province, on February 6, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

A man in Shiling town in Sichuan province, Southwest China, who was allegedly making money by videoing his abuse of dogs, was "captured" by local animal protection volunteers and paraded naked through the streets. Beijing Times commented on Monday:

Cruelty toward animals is beneath contempt; but experience has proved that people taking matters into their own hands and violently punishing animal abusers only make matters worse by making the opposing sides more irrational.

In this case, making the man parade through the streets naked was an abuse of an individual's rights. According to the volunteers, it was the only thing they could think of.

It is impossible to solve all problems overnight. In this case, the animal protectors must face the consequences of their actions and accept that the rule of law is the bottom line.

But it is also worth reflecting on the role of the internet and social media in the incident. The man was profiting by posting videos of his cruelty toward animals, while social media discussion has only amplified the divide between those who support the animal rights activists and those who criticize their actions with both displaying a sense of moral superiority.

China lacks an animal protection law. Though a draft is currently under discussion, the process of introducing one needs to be accelerated.

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