Chinese Government Offers Animal Farmers Buyouts in Wildlife Trade Crackdown

23 Mai, 2020, 00:43 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Wuhan, center of coronavirus pandemic, bans eating wild animals

Wildlife farmers in China are being offered a government buy-out in order to move away from breeding wild animals for consumption. The news follows increasing pressure being put on the country to eliminate the illegal wildlife trade, which has been for the current coronavirus pandemic.

Authorities in Wuhan have announced a comprehensive ban on eating wild animals and the hunting and trading of wildlife, according to a statement by the city's municipal government.

Wuhan, Shanghai and other big cities have already banned wild animal consumption, and several provinces have also issued action plans to curb hunting, breeding and trafficking. Officials noted that the local administration is planning to buy out wild animal breeders.

China issued a nationwide ban on the trade and consumption of wild animals in February.

According to the plan, which was published on May 15, the Hunan and Jiangxi provinces have both provided an exit strategy for wildlife farmers to be compensated, allowing them to opt for alternative livelihoods such as fruit growing, vegetables, tea plants, or traditional medicine herbs.

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Authorities will evaluate farms and inventories and offer a one-off payment of 120 yuan ($16) per kilogram of rat snake, king ratsnake and cobra, while a kilogram of bamboo rat will fetch 75 yuan. The pandemic is believed to have passed on from bats to other species to humans.

The state-run Jiangxi Daily newspaper reported last week that the province has more than 2,300 licensed breeders, mostly rearing wild animals for food. The report said that their stock adds up to around 1.6 billion yuan ($225 million).

Both Jiangxi and Hunan border Hubei, the province where the coronavirus first emerged in December.

Wuhan has been facing criticism from global leaders, mostly from the US, for the research on bat Coronaviruses on city laboratories from where the virus has allegedly escaped before infecting millions of people in the world.

Bear bile is sourced from captive breeding facilities, which were also exempt from the January ban, though the practice has been branded cruel by animal welfare groups.

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