China To Stop Feeding
Of Live Animals To
Captive Carnivores ns/nov99/1999L-11-16-01.html
BEIJING, China (ENS) - The Chinese government is drafting new regulations to ban the feeding of live animals to carnivores in wildlife parks and breeding centers. The live animal feeding brought revenue into the wildlife parks as spectators paid to witness cows, pigs and chickens eaten alive.
The government statement was made after the exposure of abuse of animals in the Xiongshen Bear and Tiger Entertainment City in Guilin, China. An investigation by the Animals Asia Foundation (AAF) revealed that park owners were routinely feeding live cows and pigs to captive tigers as part of a wildlife spectacle.
"It was heartbreaking to see the badly injured ox crying out in pain and struggling to its feet time after time, only to be brought down again," said Jill Robinson, AAF founder, who witnessed the incident at Guilin park.
Visitors to the park could also purchase live chickens which were then tied onto poles and dropped into the tiger and lion pits. Videotape evidence shows many animals suffering long and painful deaths.
Tiger at the Suzhou Zoo which does not feed live animals to its tigers. (Photo courtesy Tiger Information Center) Endangered animals, such as Asiatic black bears were kept in debris filled pits.
Zhang Jianlong, director of the Department of Wild Fauna and Flora Conservation in the State Forestry Administration, said all feeding as entertainment had been stopped.
The Chinese government move came after talks with directors of the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the Animals Asia Foundation. Zhang said further investigations of any illegal activity in the park will be carried out, the two groups said in a joint statement.
The wildlife park was also found guilty of openly selling tiger bone wine and tiger meat, which is a blatant violation of China's Wildlife Law and a 1993 government ban forbidding the trade in tiger parts and products.
Grace Gabriel, IFAW's China director, said the practice of feeding live domestic animals to carnivores is cruel, lacks any scientific base and has no education value. "Under the pretence of wildlife training, the parks' only goal is for profit," she said.
Live feeding activities at Beijing Badaling Wild Animal World generated an international outcry earlier this year and prompted China's president Jiang Zemin to call for an end to the brutal practices in that park.
One tourist quoted by the U.S. animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in their appeal against the practice described his visit as the "most exciting thing I have ever seen. All the blood everywhere. It was more exciting than Disneyworld."
Crowd watches animals at a Chinese zoo. (Photos courtesy Tiger Information Center) Feeding time at Beijing Badaling Wild Animal World centers around an electrified, coliseum-style enclosure at the foot of the Great Wall where up to 600 people watch as domesticated calves are led into a ring to be killed and eaten by a pride of lions. The crowds, which include small children, cheer as the animals scream in agony.
Representatives from animal protection organizations who have visited the park report that when the lions show a lack of interest in the calves, park employees use a truck to herd the calves toward the pride in an attempt to trigger an attack. Because the lions are captive, their hunting skills are inadequate, making the kill nothing more than a prolonged game.
Chen Runsheng, deputy general secretary of the China Wildlife Conservation Association, a government related organization, said the government is strongly against the cruel treatment of wild animals and is also against the live feeding of large animals. He emphasized that "the Chinese government stands by its pledge since 1993 to forbid the trade of tiger and rhino products.
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