The revised draft of the Wildlife Protection Law was released online for public consultation on the 26th of December 2015. It is the first time in 26 years that the law is revised, since it was released in 1989. The public can submit their advice online (www.npc.gov.cn) or send their advice to the Legislative Affairs Committee of the Standing Committee of the NPC (address: No.1 Qian Men West Street, Xicheng District). The deadline for the consultation is the 29th of January 2016.
The revised draft makes a clear statement for the first time that wildlife’s habitats should be protected and the related department should assess and adjust the list of nationally protected wildlife every five years. In addition, any illegal purchase of nationally protected wildlife will be prosecuted for criminal liability according to the draft.
Legal experts and environmental protection experts as well as animal protection organizations have paid particular attention to the revision of this law. There have been animated discussions on whether animal welfare should be in legally mandated and how to regulate the use of wildlife medicine. The word “utilization” in the draft aroused questions among the public and the experts. “Expanding the use of wildlife as resources without restriction contradicts the international trends and the national policy of ecological civilization construction put forward in the 18th CPC National Congress”, said Mang Ping, a professor of the Central Institute of Socialism and an advocate for China’s animal welfare.