In response to the severe situation of the COVID-19 outbreak and stop the possible virus transmission from wildlife, China announced a nation-wide suspension of wildlife trade and initiated a process for amending the current Wildlife Protection Law. To support China’s effort on epidemic control, protect wild animals and safeguard the public health, NRDC conducted a policy review on global wild meat trade management and epidemic control practice. Based on this research and with consideration of the current situation, NRDC prepared and submitted detailed comments for the amendment of the law.
The summary of the Amendment Recommendations on the China Wildlife Protection Law are as follows:
Add “safeguard ecological safety and public health” to the purpose of the law.
Abolish the list of species with “important ecological, scientific and social value” primarily for commercial purposes and instead expand the scope of wild animals protected by the law beyond wildlife that is “rare or endangered.
Ban the acquisition, trade, transportation and consumption of wildlife from the wild for edible purposes, and develop specific provisions on the trade in domesticated, non-endangered wild terrestrial animals and wild fish with legal traceable source and proof of health check.
Establish an Inter-agency coordination mechanism at both the national and provincial levels to prevent, control, and manage wildlife epidemics.
Encourage the public to participate in the decision-making process on government wildlife management and protection through public information disclosure and expert consultation meetings.
Prioritize the protection of biodiversity and wildlife habitats in the country’s spatial planning of ecological redline and the development of the protected-area system to ensure the connectivity of wildlife habitats.
Encourage social groups and government agencies who are authorized to bring public interest litigation to sue over activities that injure wildlife and destroy wildlife habitats and, thus, damage the public interest.
(The full summary document is available in Chinese only.)