November 1, 2020Lu Shegay & Zihao Yu

Israel is on its Way to Becoming the First Country in the World to Ban the Immoral Fur Trade


October 6, 2020

The historic move to ban the fur trade, which results in the senseless suffering and death of thousands of animals each year, was recently set in motion in Israel. The news was shared on numerous social media posts over the weekend, including one from the country’s Environmental Protection Minister, Gila Gamliel. Once instituted, Israel would become the first country in the world to ban the barbaric trade.

“This morning an important move I initiated is on its way to being implemented; the ban on the fur trade in Israel. There is no need and no justification for the use of fur in the garment industry,” Minister Gamliel shared on her Facebook page. “I call on all countries to join us and together we will show benevolence and act kindly towards animals.”

In Israel, many men wear shtreimels, which are fur hats worn by married Jewish men on Shabbat as well as on other religious holidays and festivities, which are usually made from the pelts of sables, foxes, and other fur-bearing animals.

Commentaries of IALA

The fur trade has been extremely popular in Asia, such countries as China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea. In 2015, Hong Kong was recorded to have 70-80% of the world’s total fine fur exports. China and Finland are the biggest manufacturers of fox pelt, producing over 91% of the 7.8 million fox furs manufactured globally. Humane Society International exposed the video with brutal treatment of animals in 11 randomly selected fur farms in Asia, where it is shown that thousands of animals suffer, are being repeatedly beaten over their heads, and some animals were skinned while being still alive. The investigation also showed that foxes and raccoon dogs are kept in horrible conditions, cages are extremely small, piles of feces on the floor, and empty water bowls. In the last few years, a lot of fashion designers announced fur-free policies, among which are Prada, Gucci, Armani, Versace, Michael Kors, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Jimmy Choo, DKNY, Burberry, Chanel, etc.

Captive Breeding of 45 Wild Animals to Be Phased out


October 12, 2020

On October 12th 2020, National Forestry and Grassland Administration recently released a notification classifying 64 wild animals that are banned from consumption in two Catalogs to further manage wild animal breeding and guide breeders to explore other business opportunities. Captive breeding of 45 types of wild animals, including bamboo rats, masked palm civets, porcupines and green bamboo snakes, in Catalog I, will be phased out by the end of 2020. Another 19 wild animals, including hedgehogs, guinea pigs, nutrias and cobras, in Catalog II will be allowed to be raised in farms for species protection, scientific study, medical use and the exhibition. Both in the two Catalogs are not allowed to be raised for food consumption.

Commentaries of IALA

It is legal to breed wildlife animals with proper licenses in China according to the previous law. With the pandemic of COVID-19, the wildlife and wet market received the attention that the changes shall be made in order to prevent the zoonotic diseases and protect the public health. It is the first time for the National Forestry and Grassland Administration to make a blacklist for artificial breeding. Earlier in 2020, a whitelist was published to the public on which species are legal for food consumption.

Read the full Official Notice with the Catalogs here.

China Passes First Biosafety Law Following COVID-19 Epidemic, Raises Level to National Security


October 18, 2020

The first Biosafety Law of China was passed at a session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) on Saturday and will take effect on April 15, 2021. Under the new law, the country will establish 11 basic systems for biosafety risk prevention and control, including a risk monitoring and early warning system, an information sharing and release system, an emergency response system, and an investigation and traceability system. The law clarifies the responsibilities of relevant local authorities at all levels in the building and improvement of the systems, with administrative penalties and fines to be imposed.

The law aims to improve China's capacity for biosafety governance in preventing and controlling major risks in the field of biosafety, including outbreaks of infectious diseases involving animals and plants, and biosafety in microbiology laboratory settings, experts said. It comes following controversies on biological labs' management in China and the problems of the distribution of power and responsibility for different government authorities revealed during the COVID-19 epidemic.

Commentaries of IALA

The new law emphasizes the importance of biosafety on animals used in research or testing. These animals shall be treated with the basic animal welfare as well as the principles of the Three Rs (3Rs, Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement) in order to perform more humane animal research and testing. China has the Regulation on the Administration of Laboratory Animals (2017 Revision) which provides the framework for the raising and breeding, the quarantine and infectious disease control of the Animals used in research.

See our blog to learn more about the protection of animals in China.

Man Arrested for Allegedly Abusing Stray Cats at Koh Phi Phi Hotels


October 19, 2020

Police have arrested a 30-year-old man, Chi Hang, from China, for allegedly catching stray cats and torturing them at various hotels in Koh Phi Phi following a heads-up from Watchdog Thailand Foundation. In the past 2 weeks, Chi checked into 3 hotels on the island where he allegedly took stray cats to his room and tortured them, police say. Blood, cat nails and fur were found in the hotel rooms as well as in the refrigerator. Photos and videos allegedly from Chi’s phone show cats being abused and in distress. The man allegedly told police he is unaware of Thailand’s animal abuse laws. He is facing charges of animal cruelty and remains in detention. The cats who were allegedly tortured have all been rescued, Phi Phi police added and are now safe.

Commentaries of IALA

Although there is no anti-cruelty law in mainland China, treating animals with cruelty is not morally acceptable morally and illegal for creating and spreading indecent and vulgar content or harming the physical and mental health of minors according to other sources of laws. Thailand introduced its first animal welfare law in 2014. The Cruelty Prevention and Welfare of Animal Act, B.E. 2557 (2014) came into being on 27 December 2014.

See our blog to learn more about the protection of animals in Thailand.

Wild Persian Leopards Make a Roaring Comeback in Russia’s Mountains


October 20, 2020

A pair of Persian leopards, a species that numbers less than 50 individuals in the Russian Federation, has been released as part of a WWF captive breeding program to try and revitalize a declining species. Kodor (male) and Laba (female) were born and brought up in a special leopard breeding and training center in Sochi National Park, which was established in the Caucasus Mountains back in 2009. Ecologists working on the program note that the Caucasus Biosphere Reserve is ideal leopard habitat that also represents one of the largest stretches of unbroken forests in Russia.

Once widespread across almost all of Asia, Eurasia, and Africa, the leopard, a secretive and wide-ranging cat, has declined considerably. They also require huge tracts of territory, plenty of shelter in forests or mountains, and plentiful species of big game to prey on. Despite the leopard sitting in the Acacia tree being one of the quintessential images of the African savannah, there’s a very large stronghold of leopards in the northeast and northwest Iran, and beyond the Zagros and Alborz Mountains. Primary drivers of the animal’s decline into endangered status on the IUCN Red List has been a reduction in habitat and poaching due to its habit of livestock hunting. With many leopard populations existing in conflict zones such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yemen, the faster that Russia can restore her population of p. pardus tulliana, the greater the chance the species will survive.

Commentaries of IALA

The Persian leopard’s population is spread over Caucasus, Iran, Afghanistan, and Central Asia. Currently, the species is under the category of Endangered on the IUCN Red List due to the population of fewer than 871-1290 individuals. The main threatening factors to these animals are poaching, military and training troops, deforestation, fire, agricultural expansion, infrastructure development, etc. For instance, in Iran, illegal hunting and habitat disturbance are one of the main threats to leopards. Between 2007 and 2011, it was recorded that 71 leopards have been killed in 18 provinces, 70% were hunted or poisoned illegally, and 18% died in road accidents. Persian leopard is listed in Appendix I of the CITES, the highest level of protection in international trade.

See our blog to learn more about the protection of animals in Iran.

A Video with the Cruel Killing of A Wolf Has Been Published on Kazakhstani Social Media


October 23, 2020

A video with the brutal killing of a wolf has appeared on the local websites in Kazakhstan. In the video, two men were preparing for the killing, while the third man was recording everything on a phone. Men spoke Kazakh, but it is unknown in what region the situation has occurred.

Denis Denski, a Kazakhstani blogger from Karaganda city, has published this video. “In our country, many people somehow lack a feeling of love towards animals and nature.” said blogger.

Commentaries of IALA

The protection of animals is non-existent in Kazakhstan. There is no unifying legally binding instrument devoted to animals, such as the Animal Welfare Act. Cruelty to animals is regulated by the Criminal Code of Kazakhstan, but the action should be done in the presence of juveniles or with hooligan motives, or using sadistic methods. As for the wildlife, there is the Law on Protection, Reproduction, and Usage of Fauna, which provides that hunting is allowed if a person (1) is 18 years old and uses a firearm; (2) is 14 years old and conducts hunting with other guns allowed, hunting dogs, and hunting birds of prey; (3) possesses a hunter’s license; and (4) possesses a permit to use fauna. (Article 33) Some of the species of wild animals are also protected by the Red Book of Kazakhstan, generally, those animals are endangered or critically endangered and losing their habitats due to human activities.

See our blog to learn more about the protection of animals in Kazakhstan and in other countries of Central Asia.

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