Deputies at China’s Two Sessions deliberations are proposing an expansion of wildlife protection laws, another step towards improved animal welfare in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
National People’s Congress deputy Zhao Wanping proposed that the Wildlife Protection Law should be extended to all animals living in the wild. The law currently classifies wild animals as those with “important ecological, scientific and social value.” Zhao also proposed measures targeting breeding, hunting, killing, or abusing wild animals for commercial purposes.
Deputy Chen Jingying suggested punishments for illegal online vendors and restaurants serving wild animals. Another proposed a fine of 1,000 RMB ($143 USD) and 10-15 days jailtime for eating wild animals.
China is currently in the midst of its annual Two Sessions, during which the country’s two most important political bodies, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and National People’s Congress (NPC), convene to discuss key policies. This year’s conference was set to take place in March, but was postponed for over two months due to Covid-19.
These proposals come after the central government fast-tracked a decision to ban the consumption and trade of wild animals in February. Last week, Wuhan, the epicenter of the pandemic, also announced a comprehensive ban on wild animal consumption and trade.
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