Sparrow barbecue plan ends in arrests

Three men are accused of using catapults to illegally hunt sparrows and could face five years in jail.
Sparrow barbecue plan ends in arrests
Ti Gong

Three men accused of using catapults to kill or maim 55 sparrows have been arrested for illegal hunting.

Fengxian District prosecutors said that around 10:30pm last August 31 two of the suspects, identified as Han Bin and Wang Jun, were strolling in Tuolin Town and decided to have a sparrow barbecue.

They then called a friend, identified as Zhang Kun, asking him to bring tools to capture sparrows, the prosecutors said. Zhang brought a flashlight, two catapults and pellets.

The trio then shot down 55 sparrows in an hour, said prosecutors, at which point patrolling police found them and seized them at the scene. Forty-six sparrows were found dead, while the remaining nine were dying.

In 2000, sparrows were listed in China as "valuable wildlife" and were granted protected status.

In 2013, Fengxian banned any hunting across the district. Under the Criminal Law, it is regarded as a serious offense to illegally hunt more than 20 wild animals.

The three suspects face at least a five-year prison sentence if found to be guilty.

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