China's animal rights record

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 January, 2008, 12:00am

China has no national-level animal welfare protection laws. In 2004, it scrapped draft animal rights legislation, arguing the public wasn't ready.

The country has long been criticised for its appalling animal rights record. Visitors to safari parks such as the Siberian Tiger Park in Harbin , Heilongjiang , can pay to watch tigers attack live goats and cattle dumped into their pens. Performing animals such as bears are regular entertainment at zoos and parks.

Most notorious is the practice of extracting bile from bears on farms. This painful process involves carving a hole into the animal's abdomen to 'milk' the valuable liquid, an ingredient used in traditional Chinese medicine.

The skinned corpses of dogs and cats at meat markets have long shocked foreigners visiting the mainland. But things may be changing.