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    » 04/25/2014, 00.00

    CHINA

    Beijing bans the hunting and trading of 420 animal species at risk of extinction



    After years of requests from the international community Beijing recognizes this practice as a "global threat". It involves pandas, rhinos, pangolins and sharks: used in traditional medicine or considered "treats" these animals are in danger of disappearing. The penalties for violating the new law range from 3 to 10 years in prison.

    Beijing ( AsiaNews) - Eating or hunting rare animals for food is now a criminal offense in China. The government has approved an amendment to the Criminal Code which sets 3 to 10 years in prison for those who "knowingly eat or trade ", the meat of the 420 species currently at risk across the Chinese territory. They include the giant pandas, golden monkeys, Asian black bears and pangolins. Shark fins and rhino horns, key elements in traditional Chinese medicine have also been banned.


    The decision was made this morning by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, which represents the national parliament. After years of requests from the international community, the Standing Committee defined the hunting of endangered species a "global threat". In addition, the Commission has "blamed" wealthy Asian consumers who, thanks to a high volume of cash, foment trade in rare animals for personal purposes.


    In Asian tradition, some breeds are associated with well-being and vigor. Giant turtle soup ensures a long life, bear's paw helps sexuality, and powdered rhino horn is used to heal fever, epilepsy, malaria, poisoning and abscesses. Given these beliefs, the hunting and trading of these animals are very popular activities: announcing the reform today, state news agency Xinhua claims that "up to now those involved in these practices went unpunished".

     

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    See also

    26/02/2015 CHINA
    China, terrified by New Year fireworks a tiger leaps from eleventh floor of a building
    The animal, a rare and endangered "Manchu", was held with his sister on the roof of the building owned by an Shandong industrialist. He defends himself by saying that he had "adopted" the two specimens from a zoo, but had no authorization.

    14/09/2007 CHINA
    Beijing to suspend ‘panda diplomacy’
    For decades mainland China donated giant pandas to foreign governments as a goodwill gesture. Now it has decided to stop because of the species’ endangered status. It will however continue to “lend” them for scientific research and to zoos. For years it has tried to give one to Taiwan, which keeps on rebuffing the mainland’s offer.

    17/07/2008 CHINA - SOUTH AFRICA
    Animal rights activists on war footing against ivory market in China
    The organisation that deals with trade in endangered species has approved exchange between China and South Africa, allowing the Asian country to import 51 tonnes. In Kenya, three Chinese are arrested under the accusation of "illegal trafficking" of ivory.

    26/02/2010 THAILAND
    Record ivory seizure in Bangkok, destined for China
    Some 239 tusks worth US$ 3.6 million were seized. The African ivory was destined for Laos, but authorities believe it was meant for China’s black market. China is a major world market for ivory.

    17/01/2007 INDONESIA
    Illegal coffee growing destroying animal habitat in Sumatra
    About 20 per cent of Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park has been stripped to give way to coffee plantations. WWF accuses coffee multinationals of involvement. Rare mammals are at risk of extinction.



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