Relevant departments under the State Council have already started amending the Law on the Protection of Wildlife and plan to submit the draft amendments to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) this year, Beijing-based Legal Daily reported recently.
It has been 15 years since the existing Law on the Protection of Wildlife became effective on March 1, 1989. At the First Session of the 10th National People’s Congress convened in March last year, 127 deputies put forward four motions suggesting amending the law.
After deliberation, the NPC Environment and Resources Protection Committee agreed that relevant provisions of the law could no longer adapt to the current situation of wildlife protection. For one example, scientists have found that the SARS virus is 99 percent similar to one carried by animals including the masked palm civet. But so far no law or regulation – including the Law on the Protection of Wildlife – have articles forbidding people from eating wildlife. Many aspects of the law involving protection principles, protection sphere and legal measures need to be revised immediately.
The chairpersons’ meeting of the 10th NPC Standing Committee accordingly included the revision of the wildlife protection law into the list of its 2003 legislative agenda.
A senior legislator in charge of the NPC Environment and Resources Protection Committee said they would urge the relevant departments of the State Council to adopt proposals from the deputies and complete the amendment draft as soon as possible. It is planned that the draft will be submitted to the Standing Committee of the NPC for deliberation and approval this year.
(China.org.cn by Zhang Tingting, January 18, 2003)