China's Legislative Commission revises the wildlife protection law
The Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People's Congress (NPC) announced on Monday that it has initiated the revision of the law on the protection of wild animals, plans to add it to the standing committee's legislative work plan for this year, and accelerates the revision of the animal epidemic prevention law and other laws.
The Legislative Affairs Commission (LAC) of the NPC is also studying a decision on legal issues to be made by the standing committee in the near future.
Director of LAC's economic law office Wang Ruihe said that it is necessary to further supplement and improve relevant laws and regulations such as the wildlife protection law, expand the scope of legal adjustments, and intensify efforts to crack down on and punish the indiscriminate hunting and eating of wild animals.
He said that the current supervision, inspection and law enforcement are not strong enough, and some illegal wildlife markets have not been firmly banned or closed. Wildlife markets are overflowing in many places and the related industries are large, posing a major risk to public health security.
Chinese authorities announced in late January that trading of wild animals would be suspended nationwide to curb the spread of the virus, which is suspected to be related to wildlife.
Any form of wildlife trade will be strictly prohibited on platforms including marketplaces, supermarkets, dining establishments and e-commerce sites, and all sites raising wild animals have to be quarantined.
The crackdown will be conducted by government agencies in charge of market regulation, public security, agriculture, customs, and forestry and grassland, an official notice said.
Violators will be penalized, and for serious violations, suspects will be handed over to the police for criminal investigation, the notice said.