The Situation in China : zero-Covid lockdowns and animal welfare

Those who have been paying attention to international news may recall the zero-Covid lockdowns occurring ac

The Situation in China : zero-Covid lockdowns and animal welfare
Batya Erickson
January 30, 2023

Those who have been paying attention to international news may recall the zero-Covid lockdowns occurring across China. People were unable to leave their homes, and most notably resulting in a devastating loss of life when people were unable to escape a building locked up due to the Covid lockdown. This event sparked outrage in Chinese citizens who protested the lockdowns and the severe and irreparable damage it caused. The protests may have ended but they have led to the lifting of some of the harsher Covid restrictions.

Sadly, people were not the only ones impacted by these restrictions; animal welfare in China has suffered immensely for several different reasons since 2020. Several sad incidents have been reported. For example, a dog was beaten to death by a health worker in Shanghai when the dog’s owner was tested positive with covid. The incident went viral on Chinese social media and sparked so much fury and criticism.

One of these reasons is the severe economic downturn which took place over the past few years. During the three-year lockdown, many people were required to stay in their homes. Many lost their jobs and sources of income from not being able to leave their homes.

Following the protests and subsequent lifting of restrictions, people returned to their workplaces. However, because they have had more lockdown restrictions than the rest of the world, people were not able to collectively gain herd immunity and people are more susceptible to getting Covid and are catching it easily.

These people go right back to staying at home without income. Since people are not earning the same salaries as they did before, they are also less likely to allocate funds towards issues they care about such as animal welfare, and the animal welfare organizations are not getting the same level of donations they need to stay afloat. When speaking with our partner organization, its leader told us that it used to take three days to raise enough money for dog food to feed the dogs in her care. Now it will take over a month to raise sufficient funds to feed her animals.

Our partner organization in Zhuzhou has around 450 dogs right now in their care and the costs to care for them are high. It has been difficult for the organization to spend money on necessities such as dog food, medical care, and rent because of the drastic lack of donations.

Another reason for the financial difficulties are slow logistics. There is a shortage of delivery men because many are getting infected with Covid. Coupled with local governmental policies, transportation is not as efficient as it used to be. This issue is so severe that people are unable to ship out even basic necessities.

The third reason is a decline in productivity. If half of a company’s staff gets infected and are unable to work, the rate of productivity will drop and it will take longer for people or animals to receive goods and services.

The essence of all of these issues is that the money and the actual presence of people are just not there. Productivity is down and so are the resources and manual labor to produce these goods and services.

Luckily, we can help. We will be sending funds to our partners in Zhuzhou directly, in order to alleviate some of these financial difficulties and facilitate the sending of donations to provide basic necessities for the dogs in their care.

We are hopeful that this difficult situation in China will improve for the animals and the humans who love them.

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