Seek balance in wildlife law, says top official

THE protection of wild animals and the health of human beings should be given equal priority in the revised version of the Wildlife Conservation Law being drafted, said a legislative official.  

It should prohibit the eating of wild animals, said Sun Youhai, an official with the Environmental and Resources Protection Committee of the National People’s Congress.  

This year’s legislative agenda of the Congress Standing Committee includes the revision of the 1988 Wildlife Conservation Law.  

“The protection of both wild animals and people’s health accord with current thinking about wildlife protection in society,” said Sun. 

Public concern over the relationship between human beings and wild animals has grown since the outbreak of SARS.  

Reports by some scientists in the national media suggested that the potentially fatal virus was initially transmitted to humans after people ate animals such as the masked palm civet, although this has not been proved categorically.  

“The bad habit of eating wild animals not only harms the health of human beings but jeopardises efforts to better protect wild animals,” said Sun. 

Xu Ping, dean of the Law Department of Beijing Forestry University, said a ban on the eating of wild animals would be a great help in stemming the market and eventually stopping the poaching of wild animals.  

She said legislators should carefully seek a balance so that human beings could live in harmony with the environment. – People's Daily.  

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