China’s views on animal welfare are clearly lagging behind the rest of the world. Its ownership of the worlds saddest polar bear and how it uses animals for entertainment in this horrendous video suggests that perhaps theirs actually no animal welfare values at all.
Well, this is not far from the truth! China actually has no animal welfare laws at all! None! If the state decides no legislation is required then its citizens will also struggle with the concept of animal welfare. This has knock-on effects on the tourism industry as a whole as China’s tourist numbers grow. Many tourists are becoming more aware of animal welfare problems in tourism such as elephant treks. However, the growth in Chinese tourists in Thailand has seen the number of elephant camps triple.
But who’s saying anything? Is this practice set to continue? Well more than likely. China’s marine park business is booming even after the attacks on Sea World. We cant rely on international leaders who will probably squirm in their chairs in fear of upsetting the money pot. Everything is based on trade and money as highlighted by EU’s recent opinion on elephant conservation.
So what to do? Everybody is falling over themselves to do business with China and this is unlikely to stop on the grounds of animal welfare. China is so disconnected from the rest of world, the key media is state owned and many websites are blocked including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. There are petitions like this one to save Pizza the polar bear but I fear this will fall on deaf ears because of said communications.
Wang Jianlin may be our way in, he describes himself as a philanthropist. As China’s most wealthy person he hugely influential. He plans to open many theme parks in China including an indoor marine park and now has just bought Odeon Cinemas for £921 million giving us a way in. Getting to him will be a great first step! Here are some links to help…