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Farmers in two Chinese provinces will be offered financial incentives to stop breeding exotic animals Photo: AFP
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China offers farmers cash to give up wildlife trade

19 Comments
By Phyo Maung Maung

Farmers in China are being offered cash to quit breeding exotic animals as pressure grows to crack down on the illegal wildlife trade that has been blamed for the coronavirus outbreak.

Authorities have for the first time pledged to buy out breeders in an attempt to curb the practice, animal rights activists say.

China has in recent months banned the sale of wild animals for food, citing the risk of diseases spreading to humans, but the trade remains legal for other purposes including research and traditional medicine.

The deadly coronavirus -- first reported in the central Chinese city of Wuhan -- is widely believed to have passed from bats to people before spreading worldwide.

Two central provinces have outlined details of a buyout program to help farmers transition to alternative livelihoods.

Hunan on Friday set out a compensation scheme to persuade breeders to rear other livestock or produce tea and herbal medicines.

Authorities are offering to pay 120 yuan ($16) per kilogram of cobra, king rattlesnake or rat snake, while a kilogram of bamboo rat will fetch 75 yuan.

A civet cat -- the animal believed to have carried Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) to humans in another coronavirus outbreak nearly two decades ago -- is worth 600 yuan.

Neighboring Jiangxi province has also released documents on plans to help farmers dispose of animals and financial aid.

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. Their animals are worth about 1.6 billion yuan ($225 million), the report said.

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

Animal rights group Humane Society International (HSI) said Hunan and Jiangxi are "major wildlife breeding provinces", with Jiangxi seeing a rapid expansion of the trade over the last decade. Revenues from breeding reached 10 billion yuan in 2018, it said.

HSI China policy specialist Peter Li told AFP that similar plans should be rolled out across the country.

But he cautioned that Hunan's proposals leave room for farmers to continue breeding exotic creatures as long as the animals are not sent to food markets.

The province's plan also does not include many wild animals bred for fur, traditional Chinese medicine or entertainment.

Li said Chinese authorities are nevertheless moving in the right direction.

"In the past 20 years, a lot of people have been telling the Chinese government to buy out certain wildlife breeding operations, for example bear farming," he said. "This is the first time that the Chinese government actually decided to do it, which opens a precedent... (for when) other production needs to be phased out."

© 2020 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.


19 Comments
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Buy them out? Which in effect means that China did not see any problem with it.

Seems to me that if China does not like what you are doing, they put a bullet in the back of your head, not buy you out!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

It came from a lab not a Labrador .

But yes, stop the wild animal markets, farm the animals in a proper healthy hygenic manner and sell them in hygenic facilities.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Make such breeding illegal and then jail any farmers in violation.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

But I thought the CCP said that there's on such thing as wet markets. Now they're admitting that such things exist?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Buy them out? Which in effect means that China did not see any problem with it.

Not necessarily. It's an approach that's succeeded in many countries to stop the illegal poaching of often endangered wildlife. Give the people (usually poor) who are doing it a financial incentive to stop killing wild animals for profit, and they'll take it.

Worth a try, especially if it's backed up with fines and/or jail for anyone who persists with it. Carrot and stick tactics.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Hey, I'll give you a tractor that belches black smoke if you stop breeding badgers for the market. That ought to shut those foreigners up for a while.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

A move little too late, but that does not eliminate the responsibility that the Chinese government now have to face. In some sense it appears to be "placing the blame" on those people who do run those shops and do the breeding. That is especially in light of the so called proof that not only USA but other countries are coming up with which indicate the source to be the Wuhan Biolab.

Also a one time payout does not resolve or stop any activity which is a livelihood for those need income for their sustenance for the rest of their lives and possibly their children. As with us, it is and was for them their livelihood.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

China has in recent months banned the sale of wild animals for food, 

Despite the source of SARS back in 17/18 years ago was traced to Civet Cats sold at these wet markets. China has established a world record for an example of "too late".

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Understanding Chinese culture, the farmers will accept the money then they will create a blackmarket where they continue to do it. Thus, the price for those animals will be higher, so they make more profits.

Not going to work!

14 ( +14 / -0 )

CCP deserves praises for not employing force at its own people - please ignore tibet and xin jiang - good job! /S

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Understanding Chinese culture, the farmers will accept the money then they will create a blackmarket where they continue to do it. Thus, the price for those animals will be higher, so they make more profits.

I’d add my experience of China by saying that local CCP officials will probably get backhanders to overlook it if this is the case.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

CCP~ Corrupt Callous Party

3 ( +3 / -0 )

but the trade remains legal for other purposes including research and traditional medicine.

You left out some words: fake and disproven medicinal purposes. These animals are being slaughtered, and humans are interacting with them, for the sake of Bronze Age superstitions.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Given that deadly viruses have often jumped from animals to humans, such as AIDS (African primates to humans) and Covid-19 (Asian bats to humans?), anything and everything should be done to prevent the next deadly pandemic. As bad as Covid-19 is and has been, the next pandemic might be even more deadly, and we (humans) may sorely regret not preventing it when we had the chance.

It won't be easy, but so-called "wet" markets need to regulated or eliminated world-wide.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is just more posturing by the CCP. I have been to restaurants in Guangzhou and Guilin with lobbies that look like petting zoos -- every type of mammal and reptile under the sun ready to be killed in front of you before it goes into the kitchen for preparation. These are out in the open and not clandestine at all. They are also very expensive. Go to the countryside and it's even more prevalent. This trade is far too lucrative to be curtailed with the reported "incentives".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

YubaruToday 04:20 pm JSTBuy them out? Which in effect means that China did not see any problem with it.

Seems to me that if China does not like what you are doing, they put a bullet in the back of your head, not buy you out!

'Buy them out'! Maybe this is a sign hat the CCP may be weakening, or losing its control.

I remember in 2011 when the Libyan Civil War erupted Moammar was actually giving bags of cash and new limo cars to citizens in return for their loyalty. He never had to bribe his people like that before, and some of those recipients took the goodies and defected to the rebel side anyway.

China usually imposed its will on its people, now they're trying to bribe? One can only wonder.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

China, you can blame yourself, your own family or whoever in the world all you want but at some point, you have to take responsibility for your own actions

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This is very lame attempt at PR by the CCP. The CCP can point to this 'attempt' to reduce the wildlife trade - notice how they ANNOUNCED IT FOR THE WORLD TO SEE! - and then have local, corrupt officials look the other way when the wildlife trade systematically returns within a year/after the Western media attention dies down.

The CCP can say 'hey, look at us, we're taking steps to reduce the wildlife trade'....but won't let anybody investigate how effective it is enforced. Kind of like their 'actions' to reduce their emissions. Lots of talk, little results.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Who would actually be allowed to investigate if these steps have been taken by the Chinese authorities. Just take the example of the Coivd 19 outbreak in Wuhan, How many foreign journalists were allowed to report on what was really going on in the city? The hospitals, people in quarantine, their daily lives, their fears and their suffering, etc..It is all shrouded in mystery. The CCP can not be trusted. Its principles are lying, deceiving, denying, cheating. Corrupt from top to bottom.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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