CHINA'S CRUEL ANIMAL OLYMPICS REACH NEW HEIGHTS

UN-BEAR-ABLE: CHINA'S CRUEL ANIMAL OLYMPICS REACH NEW HEIGHTS

Daily Mail October 4, 2006

//www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=407693&in_page_id=1770

A black bear perches precariously on a scooter and is forced to drive a circus performer across a tightrope.

This shocking image is just the latest picture to emerge from the barbaric Animal Olympic Games in China, a country with a shameful animal rights record.

The event has provoked outrage and serious concerns among animal rights groups around the world including The Captive Animals' Protection Society.

Craig Redmond, UK-based campaigns manager, said: "The things these animals are being made to do are not natural acts, and there will no doubt be cruelty involved in making them perform these tricks."

Shirley Galligan from the Born Free foundation added: "This is degrading for the animals, insulting to our intelligence and a disaster for any possible chance of increasing respect for the wild animals we share the world with. The Shanghai Animal Olympics is about domination and manipulation."

Previous pictures from the 'games' have included kangaroos being forced to take part in boxing matches with their supposed keepers and a monkey cycling while tied by the collar to the children's bike.

Other events have included a sea lion high jump and a tug of war between an elephant and members of the audience, with more than 300 animals taking part.

The forth of the biannual events at the Shanghai Wildlife Park has attracted thousands of visitors, including rapturous school children.

But the 'cruelty Olympics' are being held just before the human Olympics take place in Beijing. The Captive Animals' Protection Society is writing to the Chinese Ambassador in London to complain about the event.

"The abuse of the animals is clear. The bears, for example, will be very distressed at being forced to wear muzzles, chained and made to fight," said Redmond.

The protests from animal rights groups has been felt by the Chinese Government, which is keen to improve its reputation among the international community in terms of both animal and human rights. This year's Olympics could therefore be the last.



LIVE ANIMALS THROWN TO THE TIGERS - FOR THE AMUSEMENT OF THE CROWD

By Nick Mcdermott
The Daily Mail
October 2, 2006

//www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=408053&in_page_id=1811

These images of a ferocious tiger sinking its four inch teeth into defenceless prey are not digitally created scenes from an upcoming Hollywood blockbuster.

In an all too real display of its savage nature, the orange and black-striped killing machine is seen dispatching live farmyard animals placed in its enclosure by handlers while visitors look on at the feeding frenzy.

The brutal scenes, reminiscent of the bloodthirsty displays in Rome's colosseum where animals were pitted against one another for the crowd's amusement, are being played out at a wildlife park in China.

According to officials at Changchung Wildlife Park, staff are training the big cats to kill live prey in order to hone their hunting skills.

But animal rights campaigners questioned the park's motives and said the practice of feeding goats and calves to caged tigers raised serious welfare concerns.

A spokesman for the RSPCA said: 'We would question the motives behind feeding live animals to tigers in a non-wild environment. It raises concerns over animal welfare on behalf of the livestock being fed to these tigers.

'Throwing live animals to caged tigers doesn't re-create anything that happens in the wild, if that is their aim.'

Tigers are one of the world's most endangered species, with only 6,000 remaining in the wild. In the past century alone, three sub-species of tiger has become extinct die to illegal hunting and a continued loss of habitat.

China, which has faced fierce criticism over its animal rights record, is under renewed pressure to improve protection after hosting the so-called Animal Olympics in Shanghai this week.

The event, in its fourth year, showcased a boxing bout between an Australian kangaroo and a man dressed in a clown suit. During the fight, the marsupial appears to reel backwards after receiving a right hook from its human opponent.

The kangaroo was just one of 300 'athletes' taking part in the annual event at the Shanghai Wild Animal Park, which also featured an elephant carrying the Olympic torch and various animals -- including zebras and mountain goats -- put through a series of events such as hurdles and races.

In July, the Daily Mail reported on the barbaric sport of horse fighting where cheering crowds in South West China took bets on which stallion would win a bloody battle.



SICKENING 'ANIMAL OLYMPICS' FORCES KANGAROOS TO BOX HUMANS

The Daily Mail
September 29, 2006

//www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=407435&in_page_id=1770

An Australian kangaroo receives a fierce blow to the head by a man dressed in a clown suit in a shameful contest that will further fuel fears over China's barbaric attitude to animals.

The bizarre marsupial-versus-human bout happened during the so-called Animal Olympics in Shanghai.

Animal rights campaigners say the Chinese have an appalling poor record for animal rights protection and have no laws to protect them.

In the fight, the Australian kangaroo appears to reel backwards after receiving a right hook from its garishly attired opponent.

But the 'roo, which was wearing boxing gloves on its front paws, fought back, grappling with the clown who was forced back towards the ropes by its onslaught.

The kangaroo is just one of 300 'athletes' taking part in the annual event, now in its fourth year, at the Shanghai Wild Animal Park.

The event held in a large arena also involves an elephant carrying the Olympic torch and various animals including zebras and mountain goats put through a series of events such as hurdles and races.

Also pictured at the event yesterday were bears standing with boxing gloves on their paws during another distasteful performance.



CHINA NOT READY TO GIVE UP 'BARBARIC' HORSE FIGHTING

By Bill Mouland
Daily Mail
July 11, 2006

//www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=395200&in_page_id=1770

With wild, rolling eyes filled with a mixture of fear and hatred, nostrils flaring, blood already flecking their ragged flanks, two stallions rise on hind legs to fight each other in a dusty arena.

All around them as they bite, kick and snort, an excited, cheering crowd takes bets on who will win. While animal welfare groups yesterday condemned the horse-fighting tradition, celebrated by China¹s Miao ethnic group in Rongshui county, Guangxi province, locals pointed out that it had been going on for 500 years.

The fighting, part of the summer Xinhe festival which asks for blessings on newly planted crops, such as corn, sweet potato and soya bean, is even included on some tourist itineraries in South West China.

"It is nothing but barbaric," said Vivian Farrell, president of the International Fund For Horses, which has led campaigns to ban horse fighting. "It¹s cruel and inhumane and I don¹t know why they do it."

While tourist guides tell tales of teams of horses being led into the makeshift arena to the sound of gunfire and a reed pipe band, they fail to mention that the stallions are whipped into a frenzy.

Mrs Farrell said: "First of all they get a mare in season to arouse the stallions, then they take the mare away and the fighting begins. They will rear at each other and kick and bite in the bid to show whose bloodline is superior.

"Sometimes the fights last 10 minutes ­ sometimes they go on for half an hour. It¹s not normally a fight to the death but occasionally animals have to be put down."

The Miao people, the fifth largest of 56 ethnic groups recognised by the People¹s Republic of China, regard the fighting as Œthrilling, exciting and fascinating.¹

One guide explains how two teams of horses, specially selected to be Œplump, sturdy and energetic,¹ are led to the arena and then pitted against each other one by one. They bite each other, turn their hooves and kick the other side heavily. The nervous and fierce fight makes audiences hold their breath or cheer and applaud loudly from time to time," says the guide.

If one horse falls down or runs away, the other one is declared the winner and another two take their place. The winning horses then fight each other. The last two battle it out to be champion.

While the losers are led away to lick their wounds, the sweat-soaked champion is draped in red while his owner Œfeels very proud for having such a brave and strong steed.'


Informant: NHNE

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