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5,000-yuan fines for eating cats and dogs

EATING cats and dogs might result in a 15-day detention, according to a draft of China's new anti-animal abuse law which has fanned controversy among Internet users.

The draft also stipulates that people who ate cats and dogs should be fined up to 5,000 yuan (US$732) and restaurants found offering cats and dogs on menus would be fined up to 500,000 yuan, according to Chongqing Evening Post today.

The main advocate of the law, Chang Jiwen, said the draft could help to break down trade barriers inflicted on China's animal products. Western countries that ban imports of Chinese animal products cite the nation's inhumane treatment of animals.

Chang added he was confident that People's Congress would pass the law within 10 years, Beijing News reported. The draft will soon be finished and will be sent to authorities for revision this April, he said.

Chang said the committee in charge of drafting the law has received more than 400 phone calls and 300 emails, mostly agreeing to the necessity of such a law.

Yet in a survey conducted on a news Web portal, 63.2 percent of total 23,000 voters said the draft law is not practical.

Opponents argued that the law was designed only to pander to western values as dog meat is traditionally eaten in several Asian countries including China.

Others said stray cats are getting out of control in many cities and have become a great nuisance, as they defecate in gardens and yowl at night.


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