CHINA TOPIX

Updated 10:35 AM EDT, Thu, Apr 18, 2019

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China Drafts First Law Recognizing Animal Welfare

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(Photo : Reuters) Chinese lawmakers will for the first time recognize animal welfare in wildlife protection law,

For the first time, China will recognize animal welfare as part of a new wildlife protection law.

The law is currently in its first draft and will attempt to stem the selling and consuming of wild animals, which is rampant in some parts of China, reports Chinese news site the paper.cn.

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"Lack of animal welfare protection will impede our efforts to curb animal abuse such as catching and killing them or making them perform," said Yang Zhaoxia, deputy chief of ecological law research center in Beijing Forestry University. "This is the biggest issue in our law system related in wildlife protection."

However, the law that covers animal welfare will only apply to wildlife and wild animals in human captivity.

Chang Jiwen, vice director of the Research Institute of Resources and Environment Policies under the Development Research Center of the State Council, told Global Times that a draft amendment to the Law on Wildlife Protection has been completed by the environment committee of the National People's Congress (NPC).

"The recognition of animal welfare is a big highlight of the draft, which fits with the eco-friendly direction of policy," Chang said.

According to a recently released study by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), China leads the world in illegal wildlife trade. During a six-week study of 280 online marketplaces in 16 countries, it found that 56 percent of online advertisements for illegal wildlife and wildlife parts were found on Chinese websites.

Ivory, reptiles and birds were the most widely traded items, with ivory appearing in nearly one-third of all advertisements, and reptiles representing about one-fourth of the items found for sale.

The most traded item in China was ivory, representing more than half of the worldwide ivory trade recorded in the survey. Investigators also identified 173 rhinoceros advertisements, 95 per cent of which were for sale on Chinese sites.

The draft is still under discussion, Chang told Global Times. It will be submitted to the NPC's legal committee for addition revising, after which it will be reviewed by the NPC Standing Committee by the end of 2015.

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