VI-8 Question: In August 2006, the Chinese Government auctioned off wild animal hunting licenses for the first time? Why? What are the policies governing wild animal hunting? Does this contravene with the protection of wild animals?
A: In the past two decades, China has been studying the international experience in wild animal hunting and has set up preliminary management frameworks and principles on wildlife hunting. Below are some highlights:
First, according to international experience, operators of hunting grounds are required to conduct game resource feasibility studies; make management plans on game resource monitoring, animal preservation, tour guiding and hunting safety; and obtain approval from regulatory agencies.
Second, annual hunting species and quota open to foreign tourists are to be set by relevant government regulatory agency after scientific assessment. To conserve animal resources, species banned in international wildlife protection laws, female animals and baby animals will not be allowed to be hunted.
Third, to promote the efficient use of game resources, hunting fee will be set according to international standard.
Fourth, making rules to guarantee that proceeds from hunting will be used in resource conservation and to compensate local residents.
Hunting is not animal slaughtering. Opening hunting grounds does not contradict the principles of wild animal protection and does not violate the Wild Animal Preservation Law. In some sense, hunting is a resource conservation measure. In recent years, some wild animal species in some areas have bred so fast that the ecological equilibrium is disrupted. Human intervention is necessary. Well-planned hunting activities can eliminate sick and senile animals, preventing diseases from spreading, reducing competition among animals for limited resources and improving the quality of the herd. This is conducive to the sustainability of wild animals.
Adequate and sustainable hunting activities are widely acceptable internationally. Such well-managed activities can contribute not only to the sustainability of animal species and the protection of local ecological systems but also to the local social economic development. That is why mainstream conversationalists in the world have not decried our practices in opening hunting to foreign tourists in the past two decades.