Tiger deaths spark calls for "law against animal abuse" in China

14:45, March 18, 2010      

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In the wake of the death of 13 captive Siberian tigers in a northeast China zoo, legal experts have posted online a proposal for a "law against animal abuse" to solicit opinions.

The proposal, posted online Wednesday, would be revised after the experts considered the public's responses and then in April, it would be submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, said Chang Jiwen with law institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, who participated in the draft of the proposal.

A total of 13 Siberian tigers have died over a span of three months in Shenyang Forest Wild Animal Zoo, including 11 which died of malnutrition and another two were shot dead while mauling a zoo worker in November 2009, said Liu Xiaoqiang, vice chief of the Shenyang Wild Animal Protection Station.

"What happened at the zoo was not an isolated case. There are multiple cases of hungry zoo animals mauling people. And our survey shows that many privately-owned zoos were not doing well financially," said Chang.

As for regulating the privately-owned zoos, there were legal loopholes which made enforcement impossible, said Liu.

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