Kitten beheading sparks Chinese online rage

BEIJING (AFP) - A Chinese woman who beheaded a kitten and posted pictures online has provoked a wave of fury from tens of thousands of web users, with some calling her "insane".

Li Pingping, a former marketing consultant in Huizhou in the southern province of Guangdong, bought the kitten earlier this month and decapitated it in her bathroom last week, the state-run China Daily newspaper reported Thursday.

She then posted photos of the kitten's body and its severed head on Sina Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter, setting off outraged reactions.

Li deleted the posts but after the online criticism continued for days, she penned an open letter apologising and explaining that she had been drunk and acted out of anger after suspecting her father had been involved in an extramarital affair, the China Daily said.

The letter drew more than 60,000 comments, the paper said, with many continuing to berate Li.

"Brutally dismembering a poor kitten in your bathroom, then posting the photos online?" one Sina Weibo user wrote on Tuesday. "The cruelty is just beyond imagination."

Others suspected that Li may have psychological problems and that her previous postings suggested she may have been considering suicide.

China does not currently have any laws to protect non-endangered animals. Nonetheless the country has a small but growing animal rights movement and reports of animal cruelty frequently draw anger.

Last week, a British resident of Beijing watched in horror as a city management official and four others beat his small dog to death in front of him, the Beijinger magazine reported.

The man had been out walking his dog when the officials demanded his registration papers, the magazine said.

After he explained that he was still in the process of registering the dog, the officials held him back and beat the dog to death with sticks, then scooped its body into a bag.

Police told the man that "without the registration documents, there was no recourse for him", the magazine said.

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