China is passing new legislation that will give hard time to people caught eating wild animals in an attempt to fuel poaching of endangered species, including giant pandas and Asian black bears and pangolins.
Xinhua, the official news agency in China, reported that repeated crackdowns haven’t been successful with many buyers of rare animals walking away unpunished.
Lang Sheng, the deputy head of the legislative affairs commission of China’s National People’s Congress, told lawmakers earlier this week that targeting consumers of the products may be the solution.
Buyers are a major motivator of large-scale illegal hunting.”
Those who eat rare animals or their products in China and other parts of Asia believe the practice helps to strengthen the body or ease symptoms of illnesses.
China will now jail people who eat rare animals for 10 years or more.
The country lists 420 species as rare or endangered, including the panda, golden monkeys, Asian black bears and pangolins.
Some or all of which are threatened by illegal hunting, environmental destruction and the consumption of animal parts, including for supposedly medicinal reasons.
Consumption of rare animals has risen as the country has become richer, with some people believing spending thousands of yuan on eating them gives a certain social cache.
Eating rare wild animals is not only bad social conduct but also a main reason why illegal hunting has not been stopped despite repeated crackdowns.” – Lang Sheng.
The new interpretation “clears up ambiguities about buyers of prey of illegal hunting”, the report added.
Photo credit: Animals Asia