photo by dcmaster (Flickr CC)

Sticking your fist or head into the mouth of a declawed, de-toothed lion or tiger isn’t very impressive.

In Chinese zoos, animal parks and circuses the abuse of animals is widespread. Bears, monkeys, elephants, wolves and big cats are among the animals who are routinely beaten into submission and forced to do absurd tricks for the entertainment of ignorant crowds.

There are no animal protection laws in China to prohibit such behavior.

The Hong Kong-based animal welfare group Animals Asia visited 13 zoos and animal parks in China and compiled statistics and video footage into a report documenting the abuse.

These animals have been suffering from birth, really. Once they’re born they go into this industry. And straight away the trainers are starting to brutalize them to make them to do these tricks…. We saw some of the training of the younger animals; they were continually hit to make sure they learnt these tricks so that when they’re out in the performance ring they perform them to the best standard.

–David Neale, Animals Asia’s Animal Welfare Director

But there is progress. Chinese Academics are drafting legislation for animal welfare laws and the Chinese State Forestry Administration recently accused animal performance shows of excessive cruelty.

See the following video report from Environmental Films and check out this page for accompanying articles for more on this story.

Read Animal Asia’s press release on the report:

Cruel and abusive practices at Chinese zoos, report says