Dog-saving on highways triggers animal rights debate(2)

09:06, April 18, 2011      

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The move was about kindness and conscientiousness in our society, He Jiong, a famous TV host, wrote on his blog.

However, an online poll by huanqiu.com on Sunday showed that about 69 percent of about 7,000 voters did not support the activists.

"One group's love and kindness should not violate others' freedom, rights and interests, otherwise, they would become evil," Lian Yue, a well-known columnist, said on his microblog on Sunday, adding that the activists were no different than home intruders.

Some people said the animal-rights supporters should care more about people, as there are many people who could benefit greatly from 100,000 yuan.

Wang Sixin, a law professor at Beijing-based China University of Communication, told the Global Times that some online comments may be irrational, but they reflect the division in society over this issue.

Chang Jiwen, an scholar with the Social Law Research Department at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that he hopes the incident promotes the passing of laws on animal welfare.

"As long as animals are consumed, there will be clashes between activists and consumers," said Chang, who led an expert panel in proposing a law against animal cruelty in 2009, which was sent to the National People's Congress.

Under the draft, it would be illegal to eat and sell dog and cat meat.

The eating of dog meat has been a tradition in China throughout the country's history. However, like other traditions, such as foie gras, whaling and bull fighting, this one faces increasing objection from animal-rights groups.

According to the Beijing Times, the South Korean government drew criticism during the 2002 World Cup from rights groups angry about the country's dog-eating tradition. To avoid such discontent, Chinese authorities ordered hotels to stop selling dog meat during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Liu Linlin and Pan Yan contributed to this story


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