Commentary

Chinese Legislation Prohibits Illegal Wildlife Trade and Edible Consumption  

Jim Mason
Chief Academic Editor of the Animal Sci Publisher, B.C. Canada
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Molecular Zoology, 2020, Vol. 10, No. 1   
Received: 20 Apr., 2020    Accepted: 22 Apr., 2020    Published: 22 Apr., 2020
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This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract

Chinese Legislation Prohibits Illegal Wildlife Trade and Edible Consumption

By Jim Mason, Chief Academic Editor of the Animal Sci Publisher, B.C. Canada 

This article was published on Apr 20, 2020 at animalscipublisher.com, International Journal of Molecular Zoology, Vol. 10, No.1, pp.1-2 DOI: 10.5376/ijmz.2020.10.0001

Keywords
Chinese legislation; Prohibition; Illegal wildlife trade; Edible consumption

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, although there is no definite scientific conclusion on the virus’s original host, all of the conclusions have been pointing toward wild animals, which are becoming the “suspect” of the original host of the new coronavirus. This attracted the public’s attention to the serious health risks of eating wild animals.

 

The China Congress announced the “Decision on the Comprehensive banning Illegal Wildlife Trade, the Eliminating bad habit of indiscriminate eating of wild animals, and the Effective Protection of People’s Health and Safety”,on February 24, 2020, CST.

 

The decision clearly stipulates that trading of wild animals prohibited by the “Wild Animal Conservation Law of the People’s Republic of China” and other relevant laws are prohibited. Hunting, trading, and transporting of terrestrial wild animals that naturally grow and reproduce in the wild are completely prohibited for food purposes.

 

The decision further stipulates a comprehensive ban on the consumption of “terrestrial wild animals of important ecological, scientific, and social value”, as well as other terrestrial wild animals, including artificial reproducing and artificial breeding of terrestrial wild animals.

 

Moreover, the decision also stipulates that the non-edibles use of wild animals shall be subjected to strict approval and quarantine inspection under relevant national regulations for the use under special circumstances, such as scientific research, medical use, display, etc..

 

Despite the lack of scientific evidence, many Asians believe that eating wild animals or their organs can help strengthen the human body and cure diseases. Hunting, trading, transporting, artificial breeding, artificial reproducing, and consuming wild animals as food or medication has formed an industrial chain.

 

Although governments around the world have been tightening the restrictions on wildlife trade, wildlife breeding has become the engine of economic growth in rural areas.

 

The virus that cased the “Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome” (SARS) in 2003 and the later outbreak of the “Middle East Respiratory Syndrome” (MERS) was thought to originate from bats and was spread through masked civets and camels to infect humans.

 

The 2019 COVID-19 pandemic caused the public to focus on wild animals again. Research published in the journal, Nature, found that pangolins can carry viruses similar to the new coronavirus, but the research paper also states that the role of pangolins in this pandemic has not been confirmed. Due to the demand for traditional medicine, pangolins are almost on the verge of extinction in China. At the same time, they have become the largest demand for world’s animal smuggling.

 

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chinese legislation prohibited illegal wildlife trade and edible consumption promptly. If the ban becomes a permanent regulation, it will help to protect endangered wildlife and maintain public health safety.

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