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China – Animal Welfare and Cultural Issues

China is a country with a rich and complex culture that has been shaped by centuries of history and tradition. The country is also home to a diverse range of animals, from giant pandas to dragons, and has a complex relationship with animal welfare. In this article, we will explore the prevailing attitude to animals and pets in China, the laws regarding pet ownership, major animal charities, pet supply stores, and cultural taboos associated with different types of animals.

Attitude to Animals and Pets

The prevailing attitude towards animals and pets in China is complex and often depends on a variety of factors, including location, age, and socio-economic status. In many parts of the country, animals are seen as companions and valued members of the family. Dogs, in particular, are very popular pets in urban areas, and many Chinese people are passionate about their dogs, often taking them for walks and even dressing them in fashionable clothing.

However, in some rural areas, animals are viewed more as a source of food and income, and their welfare is often given less consideration. The country also has a long history of using animals for medicinal and cultural purposes, and this can sometimes lead to the mistreatment of animals.

Laws Regarding Pet Ownership

In recent years, the Chinese government has introduced several laws and regulations aimed at protecting animal welfare and improving the treatment of pets. In 2009, the government passed a law that required pet owners to register their pets and provide them with proper care, including vaccinations and microchipping. This law also included provisions for the punishment of individuals who mistreat animals or engage in illegal activities related to animals, such as dogfighting or the sale of endangered species.

In 2018, the Chinese government also banned the sale and consumption of dog and cat meat, a move that was celebrated by animal rights activists around the world. This law was seen as a major step forward for animal welfare in China and was a reflection of changing attitudes towards animals in the country.

Major Animal Charities in China

There are several major animal charities operating in China, including the China Small Animal Protection Association (CSAPA), Animals Asia, and the Beijing Human and Animal Environmental Education Center. These organizations work to promote animal welfare, provide shelter and medical care for stray animals, and raise awareness about animal rights and cruelty.


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Animals Asia is a particularly well-known charity that focuses on ending the practice of bear bile farming in China. The organization works to rescue bears from farms and provide them with proper medical care and rehabilitation. They also work to promote alternatives to bear bile, such as herbal remedies, and raise awareness about the cruelty of the bear bile industry.

Pet Supply Stores

There are many pet supply stores in China, ranging from small independent stores to large chain stores. Some of the popular pet supply stores in China are:

1. PetSmart

PetSmart is a well-known pet supply store in the United States, and it has expanded to China in recent years. The store offers a variety of pet products, including food, toys, and accessories. They also have a grooming service and veterinary care available in some of their locations.

2. Petco

Petco is another popular pet supply store that has locations in China. Similar to PetSmart, they offer a wide variety of products for pets, and some of their locations also offer grooming and veterinary care.

3. Wopet

Wopet is a Chinese pet supply company that offers a range of products for pets, including automatic feeders, water fountains, and toys. They also have a line of products for pet owners, such as air purifiers and vacuum cleaners designed for pet hair.

4. Pet Link

Pet Link is a Chinese pet supply chain that has over 400 stores across the country. They offer a variety of products for pets, including food, toys, and accessories. They also have a grooming service available in some of their locations.

5. Dogness

Dogness is a Chinese company that specializes in pet technology products, such as smart collars, automatic feeders, and pet cameras. They also offer traditional pet products, such as food and toys.

Online pet supply stores

There are also many online pet supply stores available in China, such as Taobao, JD.com, and Tmall. These online stores offer a wide variety of products for pets, including food, toys, and accessories. They also offer the convenience of online shopping, which is becoming increasingly popular in China.

Are there any cultural taboos or sensitivities associated with different types of animals in China?

Yes, there are some cultural taboos and sensitivities associated with different types of animals in China. Here are some examples:

Dogs

Dogs are generally well-liked and popular pets in China. However, there are some cultural taboos associated with certain breeds of dogs. For example, black dogs are often associated with bad luck and death, and some people believe that owning a black dog brings bad luck. Additionally, some people in China believe that eating dog meat has health benefits, which has led to controversy and protests from animal rights activists.

Cats

Cats are also popular pets in China, and they are generally well-liked. However, there are some cultural taboos associated with cats as well. For example, some people believe that black cats bring bad luck, and they may avoid owning or interacting with black cats. Additionally, some people believe that eating cat meat has health benefits, which has also led to controversy and protests from animal rights activists.

Other animals

There are also some cultural taboos associated with other animals in China. For example, turtles are considered a symbol of longevity and are often kept as pets. However, it is considered bad luck to keep a turtle in a bedroom, as it is believed to bring bad dreams. Additionally, some people believe that eating turtle meat has health benefits, which has led to controversy and protests from animal rights activists.

Overall, while there are some cultural taboos and sensitivities associated with different types of animals in China, the country is generally becoming more aware of animal welfare issues and is taking steps to improve the treatment of animals.


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