China to ‘reg­u­late’ wild an­i­mal prod­ucts

The Myanmar Times - - World -

CHINA has passed a new wild an­i­mal pro­tec­tion law ban­ning the sale of food from en­dan­gered species, but al­low­ing other prod­ucts to be made from them, state me­dia said, amid con­tro­versy over its wildlife poli­cies.

The mea­sure, ap­proved by China’s Com­mu­nist Party-con­trolled par­lia­ment on July 2, “strength­ens reg­u­la­tion of the use of wild an­i­mals and prod­ucts de­rived from them”, the of­fi­cial Xin­hua news agency said.

En­vi­ron­men­tal cam­paign­ers pre­vi­ously slammed a draft of the law for treat­ing an­i­mals, in­clud­ing tigers and bears, as com­mer­cial re­sources and say­ing it would not halt their slaugh­ter.

The draft would “fur­ther en­trench poli­cies of cap­tive-breed­ing for com­mer­cial use of parts and de­riv­a­tives of cap­tive tigers”, the En­vi­ron­men­tal In­ves­ti­ga­tion Agency said.

China passed a law on wild an­i­mal pro­tec­tion in 1989, partly to give a frame­work for the ex­port of prod­ucts de­rived from wildlife, and it was pre­vi­ously re­vised in 2004.

The new law bans the pro­duc­tion and sale of all food prod­ucts made from en­dan­gered an­i­mals, ac­cord­ing to a ver­sion posted on the web­site of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress, China’s rub­ber-stamp leg­is­la­ture.

But it al­lows for “breed­ing and pub­lic per­for­mances” by en­dan­gered an­i­mals as well as “the sale, pur­chase and use” of prod­ucts made from such an­i­mals, as long as per­mis­sion was granted by “au­thor­i­ta­tive de­part­ments”. It was not clear if or how it dif­fer­en­ti­ated be­tween prod­ucts and food.

Cam­paign­ers say le­galised use of en­dan­gered species can be ex­ploited as a cover for poach­ing, putting more pres­sure on al­ready vul­ner­a­ble an­i­mals.

Xin­hua quoted of­fi­cial Yue Zhong­ming as say­ing un­der the new law “the use of wild an­i­mals and de­rived prod­ucts should rely mainly on cap­tive-bred an­i­mals, and it must not hurt wild pop­u­la­tions and habi­tats”.

It was not im­me­di­ately clear how such ap­provals would be man­aged.

Breed­ing of sika deer, a na­tion­ally listed en­dan­gered an­i­mal, could be al­lowed as “mil­lions have been bred un­der con­trolled con­di­tions na­tion­wide”, forestry of­fi­cial Zhou Xun told Xin­hua.

China’s cap­tive breed­ing in­dus­try is worth 7.8 bil­lion yuan (US$1.3 bil­lion) a year, news web­site China Dia­logue quoted ex­pert Shi Haitao as say­ing last year.

Photo: EPA

Four newly born Siberian tiger cubs are Shenyang, north­east­ern China’s Liaon­ing with only eight tigers in 1986. China has

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