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Liu Shijin

Some Highlights in the Newly Revised Law on the Protection of Wildlife

2016-09-07

By Chang Jiwen, DRC

2016-07-25

The newly-revised Law on the Protection of Wildlife will be put into force on January 1, 2017. The new law has readjusted its legislative purposes and made amendments to some articles and people may find quite a number of highlights in it. First, in terms of protecting the welfare of animals, it has made explicit stipulations that wildlife-abuse is against the law and treatment to wildlife should be in line with social morals. Article 26 in the new law has made some substantial regulations on the protection of wildlife. It points out that “Captive-breeding of wildlife under special state protection should be in line with wildlife behavior and make sure that there are necessary activity space and conditions for living and breeding, hygiene and health, and places and facilities adapted to the purpose, variety and development scale of breeding, which conform with relevant technical standards and meet the requirements for epidemic prevention.” Article 26 clearly stipulates that “cruel treatment to wildlife is prohibited.” Article 29 in the new law provides that “The utilization of wildlife or the thereof shall give priority to captive-breeding of the population and should be conducive to the maintenance of natural population in line with the requirement of ecological civilization construction and abide by social morality, laws and regulations as well as other relevant rules. ” This has laid a legal foundation for prohibiting the cruel treatment and utilization of wildlife, and it is a significant progress China has made in humanitarian legislation and law-based culture. Second, the newly revised Wildlife Protection Law has changed the title of Chapter 2 from “The Protection of Wildlife” to “The Protection of Wildlife and their Habitats”, which has put into practice the comprehensiveness, systematicness and correlation relating to the protected objects. Argument should be made during the planning process upon the influence on wildlife habitats and their migration corridor and make remedies if needed; the new law also states that competent administrative authorities of the State Forestry Bureau should make sure and release the list of important wildlife habitats and promote the integration while avoiding the fragmentation of those habitats. By now, China is studying the legislation of national parks according to the reform program of these parks, which will be good news to the integration of nature reserves, wetland parks, forest parks, wildlife habitat conservation and other relevant areas. Third, some new stipulations have been added to the newly revised wildlife protection law, such as the restriction and standards on the utilization of wildlife, the due compensation for damages caused to wildlife, the institutional mechanism for relevant department relating to the protection of wildlife, and four types of illegal acts. All these have made legal liabilities stipulated by the law become more strict and severe.