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Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China: Don't Legalize the Wildlife Trade!

Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China: Don't Legalize the Wildlife Trade!

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This petition has been created by Mary E. and may not represent the views of the Avaaz community.
Mary E.
started this petition to
Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China
In a move that has been described as "a surrender to
the wrong", China's government has just drafted legislation which would legalize the wildlife trade and pose a dire threat to the survival of endangered species all over the world!
The proposed amendment to China's 1989 Law on the Protection of Wildlife would:

Legalize the possession of products derived from endangered species, including tigers, elephants, pangolins, and rhinos;
• Encourage the ghastly, industrial-scale "farming" of tigers, bile bears, and other protected species for use in consumer products;
• Legalize the sale of traditional medicine, health-care products, and food made from captive-bred endangered species;
• Permit businesses to take animals from the wild to start captive breeding farms; and
• Give provincial and municipal governments -- which are often prone to corruption and bribery -- the power to license commercial trade in endangered species for "special purposes".

The stakes couldn't be higher. An Xiang, the director of
Dexiang Law Firm in Beijing, calls the law “a major step backward and a disaster for conservation."

If this law is allowed to pass, it would greatly accelerate the global poaching crisis by giving an official "stamp of approval" to wildlife products, undermining global efforts to stamp out an industry which lines the pockets of terror groups, human traffickers, and international criminal syndicates.

Debbie Banks, a tiger expert at the Environmental Investigation Agency in London, warns that the draft law would, if adopted, “increase the risk of trade and demand for tiger parts and products spiraling out of control." Humane Society International warns that the law "spells doom for the pangolin" , already the most-trafficked mammal on Earth, and the Washington Post reports that, under the new law, "bears, tigers, pangolins and a range of other endangered animals are facing bleaker prospects than ever."

When the Chinese government drafted this lethal legislation, only a handful of conservationists were invited to provide input -- at a seminar organized by the State Forestry Administration, which founded, and profits from, dozens of commercial "tiger farms." At these industrial-scale battery farms, thousands of endangered tigers -- more than exist in the wild -- are kept in unimaginably cruel conditions and starved to death so that their skins can be sold as rugs and their bones boiled into wine.

Mang Ping, a professor in ecological ethics at the Central
Institute of Socialist Studies in Beijing, reports that, of the 40 guests invited to the draft seminar, only four were from animal protection institutions, while the rest were wealthy, powerful businessmen from the wildlife products industry. Some of these men made their millions from bear bile factories, which confine hundreds of black bears to tiny cages in order to collect the bile which drips from painful, permanent holes in their abdomens. Others sell bogus "medicine" made from endangered wildlife like pangolins and rhinos. And some, who operate tiger farms, are literally banking on extinction by accumulating stockpiles of carcasses as a bloody "investment" which they hope will increase in value once the wild tiger is gone forever. According to Ping, these greedy businessmen "were powerful and loud. Our voice was swamped."

But there's still hope. The law hasn't been enacted yet, which means that there's still time to call on China to reject it. President Xi Jinping is very sensitive about his nation's image, and he knows that the acceptance of the wildlife trade is an embarrassment to the international community. And a growing number of Chinese citizens are also calling on their government to end this cruel and exploitative industry. But their voices won't be heard unless we all speak up.

The decision that China makes now will decide whether or not the tiger, pangolin, and other endangered species will have a future on this planet.
Together, we can urge China to do the right thing and reject this lethal legislation in favor of laws that will truly protect the world's wildlife.

Posted (Updated )