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China's Legal Response to Trafficking in Wild Animals: The Relationship between International Treaties and Chinese Law

  • Jiwen Chang (a1)
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In China, the wild animals and animal products that are sold through illegal trafficking are mainly those that can be made into medicines; are raw materials in the form of ivory, rhinoceros horns, and turtle shells; and are edible or have ornamental value, such as birds, monkeys, turtles, and lizards. Due to its rapid economic development over the past decade, China has become one of the world's largest wildlife markets. The main reasons for trafficking are a lack of viable substitutes for raw materials used in traditional Chinese medicines (e.g., bear bile, bear bile powder, pangolin, and other products); a preference in traditional food culture for delicacies made from wildlife; and of the private consumption by some rich and corrupt government officials of tiger's meat, bear's paw, pangolin and other wild animal products—bear's paw and pangolin being the most popular. This type of wild animal trafficking endangers the safety of animal species protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and damages the international image of the government and people of China. Since 2013, under the frame of construction of ecological civilization, China has taken stricter measures on legislation, administrative enforcement, judicial adjudication, and international cooperation on prevention and punishment of illegal trafficking.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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1 See China Customs’ Special Action on Combating Wildlife Smuggling, State Forestry Administration (China).

2 See Shuwen Yang, Save Endangered Wildlife, Fight Against Trafficking, We Are on the Way, China Daily (July 3, 2015) (China).

3 See Zhao Li, Capturing 87 Toads, A Farmer Gets Criminal Detention for Three Months, Dahe (Dec. 1, 2014) (China).

4 With the development of the internet and we-media such as we-chat, more and more cases have been reported to the government or exposed to the public. In addition, more and more cases are treated as criminal. This does not mean, however, that the occurrence of crimes such as poaching and trafficking is actually increasing.

6 See Hua Liu, Xi Jinping Met with Prince William, Xinhua Daily Telegraph (Mar. 3, 2015) (China).

7 See Chao Hu &Yijun Yang, British Prince William Visits Xishuangbanna and Has “Intimate Contact” with Elephants, Xinhua (Mar. 4, 2015) (China).

Jiezhong Chang, who is a student in the Department of Sociology at Purdue University, and Keying Wang, who is an environmental law postgraduate of China University of Geosciences (Beijing), contributed to this essay.

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  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 2398-7723
  • URL: /core/journals/american-journal-of-international-law
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