Category: Current Affairs
Published on Thursday, 05 March 2015 00:00
Pitting a terrified animal against another in a fight to the death is barbaric and inhumane but many people from China insist that it is purely just for “entertainment” purposes. Spectators, young and old, in the hundreds flock to watch as two dogs are forced to fight for their survival in cages. Literally hell in a cell.
These shocking activites held in northern China drew shock and outrage from animal rights activists all over the world who have called for a change in the law to protect the canines. But the local villagers who organized the event have defended the dogfight as necessary entertainment in an isolated part of the country where TV and cinemas are far and far between.
The dogfights which lasted over several days, were organized by six villagers in Sanjiao village in Jishan county in northern China's Shanxi province to mark the finale of the Spring Festival celebrations. I guess nothing spells Spring for these Chinese than the smell of dog blood in the air.
The competition was open to the general public who brought a dog along, and the winner of each match was rewarded with a pack of cigarettes and a china mug. That is how much a valuable canine life means to them; cigarettes and a cup.
One of the organisers, Shi Pan, 45, protested that because the village was in a poor rural area, the locals had to resort to creating their own entertainment.
“People in the city criticise our dogfights but they have all sorts of money to pay for entertainments which we don't have access to. We have to organise things to entertain ourselves,” Shi Pan said.
While banned in many countries, dogfights are a common attraction in northern China which hosts more than 100 festivals each year attracting visitors from neighboring provinces and tourists alike.
Shockingly, police have said the event did not breach any laws and that there have been no official complaints. They added that some of the people who who turned up had allegedly grabbed stray dogs off the street, and claimed they were their pets.
China has no laws against animal cruelty, and a person who ill-treats a dog or another animal can only be persecuted for damage of property if the animal belongs to somebody.
Dogfighting is illegal in China only if it involves bets. By making the animals fight purely for entertainment, it goes into a grey area where it is difficult to presecute anyone involved.
Chung Lu, an animal rights activist in the country said, said: “Events like these are exactly why we need a functioning animal cruelty law in China, because people do that they want and get away with it unless they know the law can stop them.”
But a defiant Shi Pan said: “It was a great success, we plan to do the same thing again next year. And we don't care what the people in the city say.”
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