Image: Rob n Amy C
China has issued a total ban on all 300 state-owned zoos, which have been cited for all kinds of animal abuses and injuries. The ban went into effect on Tuesday, though has a couple loopholes that some will keep an eye on.The Telegraph describes some of the abuses, including one description of a zoo that forced "an adult lion to stand on the back of a horse for a sort of animal acrobatic performance," and an entertainment park where monkeys with "wounds all over their bodies" had gotten hurt "during live monkey-fighting shows."
More from the Telegraph:
Other cases of abuse include beating lions to make them jump through rings of fire and forcing bears to walk across tightropes, said Hua Ning, at the International Fund for Animal Welfare...
A spokesman for China's State Forestry Bureau said a three-month investigation last year had uncovered more than 50 zoos where animals were suffering severely because of abuse.
The non-state-owned zoos, however, had not been notified of the new rules, and the Animal Welfare Director at Animals Asia said they'll help "police the ban and report any cases we find to the government."
The ban also requires zoos to stop selling animal parts, zoo restaurants to stop serving dishes made out of rare animals (a common practice), and will prohibit zoos from both pulling baby tigers' teeth out in order for tourists to hold them as well as holding attractions with live animals—chickens, goats, cows, even horses—being sold to visitors and fed to (and torn apart by) big cats.
One big unanswered question, though, is what will happen to animals that are either now free, or at zoos that potentially face bankruptcy.
More on animals in circuses and zoos
Mass Grave Containing Rare Animals (Tigers, Lions, Leopards, etc) Discovered at Chinese Zoo
Chinese Zoo Accused of Letting 11 Rare Siberian Tigers Starve to Death
Escaped Circus Bear Shot by Police
Sacramento Votes for Better Treatment of Circus Animals