Chinese officials set 1,000 cats loose in forest: reports

Chinese officials set 1,000 cats loose in forest: reports

by Staff Writers Beijing (AFP) Nov 04, 2013 Animal activists are combing a forest in eastern China for more than 1,000 kittens rescued from a meat supplier only to be let loose by local authorities, an organiser said Monday.

Animal protection volunteers and local police intercepted a truck “filled with cats” destined for dinner plates last week, said an activist surnamed Ni from the Wuxi Small Animal Protection Association in eastern Jiangsu province.

But local government officials released the felines — some as young as four months old — into a nearby mountain forest to fend for themselves, Ni said.

“They were being sent to Guangzhou to be eaten by people,” he told AFP.

“We didn’t want to release them, our volunteers had places to keep them. It’s definitely irresponsible.”

Volunteers are now scouring the hillsides with cages in an attempt to capture the cats, and hope to put those found up for adoption, Ni said, adding that more than 50 have been retrieved in the last week.

“Some of the cats are hungry, and haven’t eaten, while others have been run over by cars,” he said.

The state-run Beijing Youth Daily said Sunday that authorities seized the cats because the lorry owner did not have the correct documents, but decided to release the animals into the wild as there was no source of funds to have them put down.

China’s small but growing ranks of animal activists have staged a number of rescues in recent years.

Cats are not commonly eaten in most parts of China but some restaurants, particularly in the south, continue to serve them as food.

Around 600 cats stuffed into wooden crates and on their way to such a fate were rescued after a truck crash in January.

A convoy of trucks carrying some 500 dogs to be sold as meat was stopped by volunteers on a highway in Beijing in 2011 and the animals retrieved.

China does not have any laws to protect non-endangered animals.

Desalinization for China´s water woes?

Flow chart of multi-stage flash distillation i...

Flow chart of multi-stage flash distillation in order to produce desalinated water (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Desalinization for China’s water woes? by Staff Writers Beijing (UPI) May 6, 2013

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

China lacks government support for desalination programs needed for the country’s water security, an industry expert said.

“The lack of an effective pricing mechanism for desalinated water and support for an operable policy is affecting the development of the country’s sea desalination industry,” Li Linmei, director of the State Oceanic Administration‘s Institute of Seawater Desalination and Multipurpose Utilization in Tianjin was quoted as saying by China Daily.

Li noted that reverse osmosis technology necessary for desalination has been mastered.

“The seawater desalination industry is as important as water conservancy projects for China to cope with its water shortage,” Li said.

China experiences water shortages of almost 54 cubic meters on average each year, with more than 66 percent of cities suffering from water shortages, says the China Daily report. Amid the shortfalls, China’s water consumption is expected to increase to about 700 billion cubic meters in 2030, up from current usage of 600 billion cubic meters.

China has 16 desalination plants with a daily capacity of more than 10,000 metric tons of fresh water.

But that water is relatively acidic and mostly used for industrial purposes, Ruan Guoling, a researcher at the Tianjin Seawater Desalination and Comprehensive Utilization Institute under the State Oceanic Administration told Caixlin in February. Further treatment is needed before it can be used by residents.

As part of its 2011-15 plan, the Chinese government aims to produce 2.2 million cubic meters of seawater-converted freshwater a day by 2015, compared with 660,000 cubic meters in 2011, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported. That would require an investment of about $3.35 billion, experts say.

Separately, China food safety authorities announced Friday that new, unified national standards on bottled drinking water were in the works.

That follows a report in the Beijing News Thursday that China still follows regulations adopted from the Soviet Union more than 20 years ago to test bottled drinking water.

While tap water is subject to 106 national standards, bottled water only has to meet 20, the report says, but officials said the difference shouldn’t be a concern because local authorities also set standards.

“When the World Health Organization updated its detection methods, [we] updated the standard for tap water but not for bottled water,” the newspaper quoted an unnamed expert with the Institute for Environmental Health and Related Product Safety in Beijing, as saying.

Rese  billion in 2000.arch firm Euromonitor International projects sales of bottled water in China to increase to $16 billion, compared to $9 billion last year and $1 …

China: Crash saved Life of Cats transported for Food …

English: Xu - a common Chinese surname.

English: Xu – a common Chinese surname. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

walking street in changsha

walking street in changsha (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I posted Jan. 18 : Don´t close Your eyes … about Cats as Food in China … aha!

Slaughter After Rescued From Truck Crash

January 19, 2013


RT News, January, 17, 2013


Cats being cared for after truck crash

Up to 600 plump white cats escaped death when the truck carrying them to be slaughtered crashed and they were rescued by animal rights activists in central China.

Volunteers hauled the cats from the overturned lorry in the central city of Changsha. Around one hundred felines, however, died in the accident while others escaped, says Xu Chenxin of the Changsha Small Animal Protection Association.

The cats, most of them plump and white, were heading to restaurants in the southern Guandong province, the China Daily reported.

“It was easy to tell they were meant to be eaten, from looking at the crates you could tell their owners didn’t care if they were alive or dead. When I arrived, the truck was piled high with more than 50 crates. The cats had travelled for days, without water or food, and the smell was dreadful” Xu told AFP on Monday.

The volunteer group which recued the felines negotiated with one of the trucks drivers to buy the animals for 10,000 yuan ($1,600) and they were now awaiting adoption.

“We’ve already had inquiries from families across Changsha,” said Xu.

Activists often come to the rescue of animals in China. In one of the biggest occasions they bought around 500 dogs intended for the dining table from a convoy of trucks on a highway in Beijing in 2011.

China does not have laws to protect non-endangered animals such as cats and dogs. Although cats are not commonly served up as dinner in Chinese restaurants, some establishments, especially in the south, will put cat on the menu.

AFP Photo/China Out

Casus: Left-Behind-Children in China

The bin in Guizhou province, south-western China, where the bodies of the five boys were discovered. Photograph: HAP/Quirky China News/Rex Features

The man who revealed the deaths of five homeless children in a bin this week, sparking soul-searching across China, has been taken away by officials, his supporters have said.

The boys, who were found dead in the south-western province of Guizhou, were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning, apparently after lighting charcoal in an attempt to stay warm overnight.

News of the deaths spread when Li Yuanlong, a former journalist in Bijie city, posted details on an online bulletin board. But, according to sources, soon after the revelations the authorities forced Li to take a “vacation”, a method often used to deal with activists and dissidents.

The Bijie propaganda office denied the allegation, pointing to a note posted from Li’s bulletin board account that said he had not been taken away and was simply attending to urgent business.

But his son Li Muzi, who is studying in the United States, told the South China Morning Post his father had been put on a plane to a tourist destination he did not want disclosed. “Apparently they are trying to prevent him from helping other reporters follow up on the incident,” Li Muzi added.

He said his father had asked him to delete a microblog post about the disappearance in case it meant he was kept away for longer.

“The [local] government is quite cruel in dealing with this issue,” said Li Fangping, a Beijing-based lawyer and friend of the family.

The Chinese Human Rights Defenders network said Li, 52, had previously served a two-year sentence for inciting subversion of state power and been put under pressure for writing about sensitive subjects.

The authorities were quick to dismiss or suspend eight officials in the poor, mountainous region, but have been criticised for failing to address the underlying causes of the deaths and the delay in finding the boys, who Chinese media said had been reported missing 10 days before their deaths. Bijie officials denied police had been told of their disappearance.

Li Fangping added: “They just want the public to stop paying attention to the issue; they want to use this result [the sackings] to distract the public’s attention – they are not concerned with the causes, the effect and its consequences; they are not analysing this incident; not asking why officials were responsible; not asking what the problems in the system and the emergency response mechanism were. [They] did not mention how to prevent it happening again.

“The officials did not mention at all why it is so common for students to drop out in this district or why there are no NGOs getting involved.”

Others blamed the children‘s families or warned that society as a whole needed to learn lessons from the tragedy. A commentator for the English language Shanghai Daily newspaper said the sacked staff had been made scapegoats “for pervasive social apathy”.

The children, aged nine to 13, were cousins. Four were supposed to be under the care of an ageing, blind grandmother because their fathers were working as scrap collectors in Shenzhen, hundreds of miles away. All five had skipped school repeatedly.

Tao Yuanwu, father of two of the victims, said the children refused to return to classes, saying they were getting poor grades and disliked studying.

Studies have shown that children left behind by migrant worker parents are more likely to suffer educational and behavioural problems. But parents say they have little choice owing to long working hours and the hukou, or household registration system, which restricts the rights of migrant families to services such as education in cities.

“Unfortunately, this is certainly not an isolated case. It is very common for kids to be in the care of elderly grandparents who don’t have the resources to give them the care they need, materially and in terms of upbringing and education,” said Geoff Crothall, of China Labour Bulletin.

A commentator for Caixin magazine pointed out there were 58 million left-behind children in China, warning that without further action “the tragedy in Bijie is bound to happen again”.

We care for animals! And there are children, left-behind-children, in trash-bin

5 “Left-Behind” Boys Found Dead in Trash Bin in China

5 “Left-Behind” Boys Found Dead in Trash Bin in China

  • On the morning of November 16, an elderly scavenger made a terrible discovery in a trash bin in the city of Bijie, in China’s remote Guizhou province. He found the bodies of five boys, aged nine to thirteen and all brothers or cousins; they had apparently died from carbon monoxide poisoning from burning charcoal to keep warm.

The boys’ deaths highlight the phenomenon of “left-behind children” in China. As Raymond Li writes in the South China Morning Post, the five boys were all the children of “busy farmers or migrant workers who had left for other cities.” All were from Caqiangyan village, a poor community abandoned by most of its adults in search of work.

Four of the boys had dropped out of school due to “poor performance.” Only one boy’s father, Tao Jinyou, had informed district and township authorities that his son had been missing for three weeks; he said that officials had not responded to his requests for help.

Journalist Sent On “Vacation” After Reporting Boys’ Deaths

Local authorities were equally slow to confirm the tragic story, only doing so after several days of outrage about it on the Internet. Li Yuanlong, a former reporter for a Bijie daily, had broken the story of the five boys’ death and posted photos of their bodies soon after they were found. The following Wednesday, he was sent on a “vacation” by local authorities who put him on a plane to an unknown “tourist” destination. Li had already served two years in jail for writing too many “negative” stories.

China’s “Left-Behind Children”

The five boys’ death has triggered “soul-searching” in the mainland Chinese media about who is to blame and what social factors may have caused the tragedy, says Li. He notes that the boys’ case is in some way “typical” of China’s estimated 58 million “left-behind children,” the “byproducts of broken families, the country’s uneven economic boom and demanding examination-centric school system.”

Li cites a recent report from a Beijing-based group, the 21st Century Education Research Institute, that suggests that, in China’s educational system, those children who do not perform according to stringent standards simply give up:

The Beijing-based civic organisation found that dropout rates among rural primary pupils had by 2008 risen nearly 6 per cent higher than they were even in the late 1990s, a period notorious for mass dropouts at rural schools. It blamed a reckless closure of rural schools.

The number of rural schools has fallen 52 per cent in the past decade under a plan to improve education quality. The situation was even worse for small village-level schools, of which 60 per cent were closed during that same period.

Indeed, it is likely that rural dropout rates are even higher, as many children leave villages with their parents who are seeking work in the cities. Under China’s household registration (or Hukou) system, migrant families are required to be registered in their hometowns even if they live far away in cities. Without registration, families cannot receive state-subsidized services including those for health and education. Migrant children in cities must attend cheap, privately-run schools that are mostly unregulated by authorities.

Is China’s Test-centric Education System To Blame?

Professor Chu Zhaohui of the National Institute of Education Sciences told the South China Morning Post that school officials are required to keep track of students who drop out and pinned the blame for the boys’ deaths on them. Eight local Bijie officials, including the principals of two of the local schools some of the boys once attended, have indeed been sacked or suspended from their positions.

But Chu also emphasized that “Some of the street children are simply driven out of school because they couldn’t have a sense of belonging under a test-centric school regime.”

The sad fates of the five boys, and the plight of China’s millions of left-behind children, more than suggest that the country’s economic successes are very unevenly distributed. As Li Fangping, a Beijing lawyer investigating the five boys’ deaths, says with reference to the recent change of leadership in China’s ruling Communist Party, “What we’re seeing now is at odds with the harmonious and beautiful China that new leadership tries to project to the world.”

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