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Wildlife authorities publish guidelines on wild animal releases

Author  :  Li Lei     Source  :    China Daily     2020-04-10

Bamboo rat, among some other farmed animals, will be banned from trading and consumption in China after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which is believed to have originated from wildlife. [Photo/Xinhua]

China's wildlife watchdog released a circular on Wednesday urging local authorities to properly handle wild animals bred in captivity.

The move came after the novel coronavirus prompted central authorities to tighten controls over wildlife trade, disrupting sales and leading some breeders to release animals into the wild in private to reduce expenditures.

In the circular, the National Forestry and Grassland Administration has asked local authorities to take over such animals and release them in their natural habitats within the limits of carrying capacities.

Before that happens, the circular said authorities should run tests on animal adaptability and determine how the release could affect local ecology. For animals with huge numbers, provincial authorities can make arrangements for them to be released in other provinces.

Authorities should accelerate administrative approval for using these animals in medicine or ornamental purposes to reduce the stockpile, the circular said, adding exotic species must be handed over to licensed shelters for further decisions.

Animals falling outside the above mentioned categories shall be slaughtered to achieve "harmless treatment", it said.

Some affected breeders had kept the animals in captivity with government approval when controls were less stringent. Therefore, wildlife bans could lead to heavy financial losses.

To relieve financial woes, the National Forestry and Grassland Administration has pledged to compensate farmers based on herd scale, species and initial input on breeding facilities.

Illegal breeders shall not be compensated, it said.




Editor: Yu Hui

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