Use Laws Creatively to Protect Animals

In 2010, Sun Jiang, a law professor from Northwest China University of Law and Politics, and his collaborators published the 1st of a three-volume book “Use Laws to warm Animals” (Use Laws to Protect Non-human animals). This book is inspirational in that it calls for public awareness of the importance of using legal means to combat animal cruelty. 2019 Dalian Asia for Animals Symposium shall be a forum for sharing experience and exchanging views on the best and practical ways of animal protection through creatively use of existing laws, regulations and policies. Utilizing legitimate weapons to protect animals is not the sole responsibility of legal specialists. Animal activists, members of the media, child protection agency workers, and the general public can also be influential participants in efforts to crack down up cruelty practice.

Protection of animals is a global challenge. One of the obstacles is the absence of laws for preventing and penalizing animal cruelty. This challenge is more pressing in mainland China than in any other regions or countries. However, the lack of anti-cruelty legislation is no insurmountable roadblock to actions against animal abusers. While Chinese animal activists should continue to encourage the country's legislative authorities to start the process of animal protection law-making, they realize that existing laws, regulations and policies that directly or indirectly address non-human animals or those that are unrelated to animal issues can be used creatively to protect animals. In 2002, a Tsinghua University science senior, who dumped concentrated acid on five bears at Beijing Zoo, was penalized for property violation. In 2018, a Weihai driver who dragged a dog to its brutal death behind his vehicle in broad daylight, was reportedly penalized for violating traffic regulations. These are two Chinese cases of animal abusers penalized for animal cruelty under laws unrelated to animal protection.

While we encourage efforts to prosecute and penalize animal abusers by creatively using laws unrelated to animal protection in countries that lack anti-cruelty legislation, we agree that animal protection or anti-cruelty laws are essential to a modern society. 2019 Dalian Asia for Animals symposium is also a forum for experts, scholars, legal specialists and law professionals, and activists to share strategies in promoting animal policy change and law enforcement in collaboration with law-making bodies and other stake-holders. Lessons or remaining challenges in legal protection for animals from countries with animal protection laws are food for thought for the audience and attendees who are pushing for anti-cruelty legislation in their respective countries.

The 2019 Dalian Asia for Animals Symposium will be a rare opportunity for attending legal experts, scholars, activists and prosecutors to showcase and share their experience in how justice has been achieved in animal cruelty cases by resorting to laws unrelated to animal protection. We also welcome experience in successful lawsuits against animal abusers by resorting to laws that are directly or indirectly related to animal protection.

Topics under the main theme of "using laws creatively to protect animals" include but not limit to the following:
• Online transmission of animal cruelty and laws/regulations on broadcasting of violence in cyberspace
• Animal cruelty in public and laws/regulations on the protection of youth
• Companion animal protection and laws/regulations on food safety/animal disease control
• Captive wildlife animal cruelty and laws/regulations on advertisement, trademarks, conservation, wildlife farming, and others
• Zoo animal cruelty and laws/regulations on property protection, business contract, child protection, and assault
• Animals in labs and laws/regulations on welfare, research management, and conservation.