IN RESPONSE TO THE CHINESE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL AFFAIRS OFFER OF PUBLIC CONSULTATION WITH REGARD TO THE NATIONAL CATALOGUE OF ANIMAL GENETIC RESOURCES
A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO THE CAPTIVE BREEDING OF WILD ANIMALS IN CHINA
The captive breeding of wild animals and the use of their products for food, clothing and medicine has played an important role in the Chinese culture.
China has shut down domestic wild animal traders on fears that their goods sparked the coronavirus pandemic. China’s National People’s Congress imposed a ban on the sale and consumption of wild animals in the country on the 24th February 2020.
Captive wildlife industries in China have experienced unprecedented growth in recent decades. The Wildlife Animal Protection Forum South Africa, in their invited submission to the Chinese government, has chosen to focus on four such industries:
The Chinese fur industry is the largest in the world. According to International the Fur Federation data, Chinese retail sales of fur are worth nearly US $17 billion per year. The image below shows workers skinning minks at a farm in China. In addition to being a major exporter of mink pelts and garments, China also imports a large number from Europe and North America. Image Credit National Geographic
The Sika deer is a species that was hunted in China for centuries to use its antler velvet in traditional Chinese medicine. Wild Sika deer populations were decreasing, the Sika deer farming industry has become a large scale industry with a reported 290 000 Sika deer kept in captivity and farmed for consumable products which includes 400 tons of Sika deer antler velvet annually.
In the image below a Sika deer farm in China. Image Credit Getty Images
The reptile industry A snake farm with empty wooden slats is pictured in the image below after a ban on the trade and consumption of wildlife following the coronavirus disease COVID_19 outbreak in Zisiquiao Village, Zhejiang Province, China. On the 7th April 2020. Image Credit Reuters
In the image below dead snakes are preserved in jars at a snake farm in Zisiqiao Village, Zhejiang Province, in China. 22nd February 2013. Image Credit Reuters
For millennia, medicine men have ascribed magical powers and medicinal properties to tigers and these cats became a universal apothecary. China banned the use of tiger bone in 1993 and removed it from the list of approved medicines, the manufacture of tiger bone wine has never stopped. The bones of lion are used instead and they are the most highly prized in oriental medicine.
Once the bones are stripped of flesh they are ground into a powder, then used in pills. Another method is to soak the skeleton in rice wine to produce an elixir. The Lion Bone Industry, South Africa legally supplies the skeletons of lions to China. The image below showcases the expensive gift of lion bone wine, with the packaging still showcasing the tiger. Image Credit: Environmental Investigation Agency.
The Chinese government is increasingly exploring sustainable development of wildlife resources, such as the modification of the Wildlife Protection Law. This includes the implementation of captive breeding licenses, forest certification and animal marking system to try and regulate this industry.
The Chinese government also needs to meet the demands of the production of Chinese Traditional Medicine for which wildlife products are required.
COPY OF THE WILDLIFE ANIMAL PROTECTION FORUM OF SOUTH AFRICA SUBMISSION:
This submission was drafted by the EMS Foundation and signed by the following wildlife conservation organisations:
Jenni Trenthowan Founder of Baboon Matters
Smaragda Louw Director of Ban Animal Trading
Toni Brockhoven Chairperson Beauty Without Cruelty (South Africa)
Samantha Dewhirst Director Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education
Stephen Fritz Senior Chief South Peninsula Customary Khoisan Council
Fiona Miles Director Four Paws South Africa
Anna Centura Co-Founder Future 4 Wildlife Europe
Megan Carr Vice President Global March for Elephants and Rhinos Organisation
Linda Tucker CEO Founder Global White Lion Protection Trust
Les Mitchell Director Institute for Critical Animal Studies (Africa)
Steve Smit Co-Founder Monkey Helpline
Kim Da Ribeira Director OSCAP (Outraged Citizens Against Poaching)
Prathna Singh National Co-ordinator Sea Shepherd South Africa
Lex Abnett Director Southern African Fight For Rhinos
Dave Du Toit Founder Vervet Monkey Foundation
Guy Jennings Director WildAid Southern Africa
Stephen Wiggins Founder International Wildlife Bond
Amy P Wilson Director Animal Law Reform South Africa
Catherine Nyquist Founder/Director Panthera Africa
Wynter Worsthorne Founder Animal Talk Africa
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