Some deputies to the ongoing “two sessions”, namely the annual meetings of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), called for more efforts to improve the laws on protection of wild animals and launch a tougher crackdown on illegal actions.
Such appeal came after social media posts of pangolin being eaten at banquets triggered public fury in China. Pangolin is an endangered species that has been listed as one of the national second-class protected animals.
Internet users in China launched boycott and expressed strong condemnation over such uncivilized and illegal phenomena.
NPC deputy Zhu Zhengxu, a prosecutor from Baofeng county, Henan province, believed that poor awareness of law and greed for huge profits can be blamed for these uncivilized behavior.
The violators’ blindness to regulations despite repeated prohibition also exposed a lack of punishment measures as well as insufficient law enforcement forces of relevant authorities, she added.
NPC deputy Zhou Xiling, also procurator from Baoji, northwestern Shaanxi province, said that more campaigns must be organized to promote law on wild animal protection, so that the public will understand that they will be prosecuted for criminal liability if illegally hunting, killing, trading wild animals for eating.
According to China’s criminal law, the sentence for those who catch, kill, buy or sell state protected animals and endangered species could be up to 10 years in prison.
Zhou said that such crimes should be curbed from the very source, adding that the crackdown should cover each transaction chain covering selling, buying and eating.
China has included wildlife protection in legal system years ago, and made rounds of improvements on it.
In the law on wild animal protection issued in 1989, the country prohibited hunting and killing state protected wild animals, while in the revised version came into force on January 1, 2017, it added “forbidding illegal purchase of national key protected wild animals and products made from them”.
By Zhang Huizhong from People’s Daily/NewsGhana.com.gh