Hounded by activists, Urumqi man forced to publicly apologize for beating dog

By Ryan Kilpatrick, May 14, 2015

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On May 10, a man in Xinjiang regional capital Urumqi was filmed using an iron bar to viciously beat a stray dog that had frightened his son. 

After the footage went viral online, netizens conducted a good old "human flesh search" on the man and publicized his name, home address, phone number, license plate number and other personal details.

A campaign of harassment launched by animals-lovers nationwide over the following days drove the dog-abuser, Wang Jian, to publicly apologize.

On Tuesday afternoon, Wang prostrated himself five times in front of 50 activists, expressed "profound regret" over his "impulsive actions" and promised to donate RMB10,000 to pay for the dog's medical treatment. 

Public apology

Public apology

Public apology

Public apology

Public apology

Public apology

Judging by commentary on the story, online opinion has lined up on Wang's side and condemned the activists who compelled Wang to apologize as "extortionists" and "cult" members who "worship dogs and have no concern for children."

Such stories stories are typically met in mainstream Chinese media with a torrent of divisiveness and anger from netizens, who generally regard concern for the wellbeing of animals as a pointless bourgeois pursuit of the idle middle classes that seeks to distort and harm social order.

In this case, popular comments included calls of support for Yulin's controversial dog meat festival and suggestions to join the festival en masse this year. 

READ MORE: A hairy business: Animal welfare in China

[Images via Sina]

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