China opens in­ves­ti­ga­tion into slaugh­ter of rare sea tur­tle

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH -

Author­i­ties in south­ern China have opened an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the slaugh­ter and sale of a pro­tected leatherback sea tur­tle by lo­cal fish­er­men, me­dia re­ported Satur­day. The case grew to na­tional promi­nence af­ter cell phone video cir­cu­lated show­ing the 200-kilo­gram (440pound) tur­tle be­ing sliced into pieces and sold to ea­ger vil­lagers in a fish­ing vil­lage in the south­ern prov­ince of Guang­dong. The meat sold for about 70 Yuan ($10) per kilo­gram, the of­fi­cial Xinhua News Agency said.

Xinhua that six vil­lagers have been re­ferred to in­ves­ti­ga­tors. It said area res­i­dents were told by fish­er­men that the tur­tle was dead at the time it was caught.

Liang Dai­chong, a lo­cal fish­eries po­lice­man quoted by Xinhua, said the in­ci­dent was the re­sult of "bad eat­ing habits" and sim­ple ig­no­rance of reg­u­la­tions. China's growing an­i­mal rights move­ment has sought to raise aware­ness of abuses rang­ing from the slaugh­ter of ca­nines for an an­nual dog meat fes­ti­val in a south­ern city to the farm­ing of bears milked for their bile to be used in tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine.

So­cial me­dia has played a ma­jor role in mo­bi­liz­ing such sen­ti­ments, al­though a push to en­act an­i­mal pro­tec­tion leg­is­la­tion has made lit­tle progress through the na­tional leg­is­la­ture. — AP

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