Chinese actresses doxxed by cat abusers after condemning cruelty to animals, calling for further legislation
Published: Jun 01, 2023 09:06 PM Updated: Jun 01, 2023 09:02 PM
People feed stray cats in Jing'an Park. Photo: Shi Liu/GT

People feed stray cats in Jing'an Park. Photo: Shi Liu/GT

Chinese actresses Zhang Xinyu and Zhao Lusi were doxxed by cruel cat abusers as they openly opposed animal abuse amid recent controversial cases, which have triggered strong outrage and reignited calls for legislation to prevent cruelty to animals.

According to screenshots circulating online, some cat abusers illegally obtained private information and phone numbers of Zhang and Zhao, as well as Chinese modern dancer Jin Xing and exposed the information in their chat group. The issue became a trending topic in China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo platform on Thursday with related topics being viewed for nearly 300 million times as of that day.

The move came after Zhang released a post on Sina Weibo on May 24, stressing her opposition to animal abuse and calling for laws against such behavior. "I oppose cruel animal abuse, oppose spreading videos of animal abuse, as children would mimic what is happening in the videos. We call for laws against animal abuse, this is not only aimed to protect the poor cats and dogs, but to protect the psychological health of juveniles!"

Zhang is one of the many netizens who condemn animal abuse amid viral reports of an internet influencer under the name of Jie Ke La Tiao brutally abusing cats.

According to media reports, Jie Ke La Tiao and his group video themselves abusing cats - killing them, burning them, opening their bellies when they are alive and pouring in sulfuric acid. The videos are then sold.

Jie Ke La Tiao, whose real name is reportedly Xu Zhihui from East China's Anhui Province, was once punished in April by local police for disturbing social order after netizens reported him abusing cats and spreading relevant videos. Xu apologized on Weibo on April 27 for the issue and vowed to love animals the same way he loves his own life.

But Xu did not keep a low profile for a long time as he reportedly went back to the business soon in early May.

Online outrage against animal abuse grew even stronger after media reported on May 29 that a man in East China's Shandong Province ruthlessly slaughtered his wife's beloved corgi and threatened his wife by saying "you will be the next if you do not listen to me." The man was arrested and fined 300 yuan ($42), his wife stated on Weibo that she will apply for a divorce and will not "accept any mediation."

There are some relevant regulations and laws according to which people conduct and spread cruelty on animals can get punished, such as the public security administration punishment regulations and cyberspace security law, but it is still necessary to set up a systematic legislation that deals with every period of cats and dogs' life from birth to death. There also lacks a law on cruelty that applies to all kinds of animals, Qian Yefang, a professor on law from the Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, told the Global Times.

Since the 1990s, demands for such legislation have grown louder along with reports of incidents of cruelty. Since 2006, deputies of the National People's Congress (NPC) have been repeatedly urging that the issue be addressed along with the development of the society. More and more local governments in China have also drafted regulations on dogs and cats raising, Qian noted, taking this as a positive progress.

"The public does not need to wait until the law is set up to act," Qian said, calling on the public to help protect animals and report to the police whenever they witness animal abuse.

According to media reports, about 70 lawyers from a law firm in Beijing submitted a joint suggestion to the NPC Standing Committee on legislative affairs on May 15, calling for incrimination of cruelty to animals. If the abuse and killing behaviors are regulated by legislation and the legal cost of the torturers is increased, it can effectively reduce the occurrence of torture and killing and correct the social trend. To punish the abusers will also play a good role in maintaining social stability, Li Na, a lawyer from the firm, told media.