Shanghai ramps up wildlife conservation and protection

Hu Min Zhu Yuting
Shanghai has stepped up conservation efforts of local wild animals, seizing over 1,600 illegally hunted or trapped animals, while promoting increased wildlife protection.
Hu Min Zhu Yuting

Shanghai has stepped up efforts on wildlife conservation with more than 1,600 live wild animals, hunted or obtained illegally, seized so far this year in intensive campaigns jointly conducted by the city's forestry authorities, police and market regulators, local greenery authorities revealed on Thursday.

These animals mainly included snakes, frogs and birds, and the figure witnessed a geometric growth compared with 27 last year, because of the pandemic, according to the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau.

The city also rescued or accommodated 1,087 wild animals between January and August, the bureau said.

"Most of these animals were sent to the Shanghai Zoo and Shanghai Wild Park, the two designated rescue and accommodation agencies of the city, while it had led to heavy burden on them," said Li Zirong, deputy director of Shanghai Forestry Station affiliated to the bureau.

A new law with a total of 37 regulations on wild animal conservation was passed by the the Shanghai People's Congress, the city's legislature, in June to further enrich and optimize wildlife management measures.

It enables organizations and individuals engaged in wildlife scientific research and artificial breeding to participate in the rescue and accommodation of wild animals, which expands channels and will relieve the pressure of the two parks, said Li.

The law prohibits the feeding, eating and hunting of wildlife.

In one case, it's become prohibited to feed raccoon dogs, which have been spotted more frequently in Shanghai's neighborhoods in recent years, partly due to people feeding them.

The law also focuses on dividing the protection responsibilities and power, establishing an asylum system for wild animals, improving the city's wildlife habitat system, as well as promoting co-work on wildlife conservation in all walks of life.

The law stipulates, for wildlife originating from the city and with very small populations, various measures such as relocation, on-site protection, reintroduction and establishment of resource banks should be implemented.

As Shanghai is located on a key point on bird migration routes, the law strengthens the protection of migratory birds.

Shanghai's first version of the law of wild animal protection was enacted in 1993. It was abolished in 2020, before the new law was put into discussion.

The new law will take effect from October 1.

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