Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan has urged China to "have a heart for dogs" after thousands of the animals were killed to fight rabies outbreaks, the animal rights group PETA said today.
Chan has teamed up with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the world's largest animal rights organisation, to stop the mass culling of dogs to fight a disease that can easily be prevented with vaccinations.
The kung-fu movie hero has created a unique greeting card that will be auctioned off on eBay starting today to benefit PETA Asia-Pacific's humane rabies control campaign, the group said in a press release.
Shaped like a heart, the handmade card features the Chinese characters for "love" and "respect" along with the actor's signature.
It also carries the inscription: "Of course it is our duty as human beings to love and respect each other. But that obligation extends to our animal friends as well. They are just as deserving of our care and kindness."
Chan is an icon of popular culture, not only in Hong Kong but in China.
"With Jackie's help, we hope to make dog culling a thing of the past," says PETA Asia-Pacific Director Jason Baker. "Humane rabies prevention programs not only save dogs lives, they also save human lives."
Meanwhile PETA representatives have met with Chinese government officials in the wake of the mass slaughter and provided them with posters and guidelines for humane methods of rabies control.