China may allow foreigners to hunt wild animals

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, August 7, 2011
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Foreigners may be allowed to hunt wild animals - including protected species - in China again this year.

This would be for the first time since the country introduced a ban and halted plans to auction hunting licenses for foreigners in 2006.

The Expert Committee of Wild Animal Hunting, an organization under the State Forestry Administration of China, has reviewed and given passes to two applications from foreign hunters, The Beijing News reported yesterday.

Despite the pass from the committee, the foreigners may still not go hunting in China until they are official licensed to do so by the state forestry administration.

But the pass will play a critical role for the administration to determine whether the license should be issued or not, the committee authorities told the newspaper.

The two applications came from domestic travel agencies acting on behalf of seven foreign hunters.

The hunters are planning to go to an international hunting ground in Qinghai Province to hunt nine blue sheep and seven Tibetan gazelle.

Checking numbers

The blue sheep and Tibetan gazelle are ranked as Class 2 National Protected Species, according to the newspaper.

The experts under the committee require the hunting ground officials to supervise the hunters by checking the number and species of the animals that are permitted to be killed.

They also require them to monitor the animal resources in the hunting ground every year.

This is the first movement on allowing foreigners to apply for game hunting in China since 2006, when the country banned international game hunting and halted a plan to auction hunting licenses for foreigners, the newspaper said.

The price of a license was expected to depend on the type and number of animals hunted.

But the plan was shelved following fierce public criticism.

Now with hunting by foreigners looking likely to resume, questions are again being asked whether this would damage China's environment and whether the move is driven purely by profit.

Yan Xun, an official with the state forestry administration, told the newspaper that if foreigners were allowed to hunt wild animals in China, the hunting grounds would have to submit assessment reports detailing the number of animals hunted and the influence to the environment.

Hunted each year

"The administration will control the number of animals of various species that are allowed to be hunted each year by Chinese and foreign hunters to protect the environment," said Yan.

As hunters would usually go after gazelles with bigger horns - usually elderly animals - this would not have a disastrous effect on the overall population, said Yan.

An official with the international hunting ground in Qinghai told the newspaper that they would send supervisors to monitor the foreign hunters.

A shot could be fired only after the target was confirmed by both the hunter and the supervisor, he said.

"Foreign hunters have to sign contracts to agree on receiving punishment under Chinese law for any violations during the hunt," said the official.

"And they should obey the rule to hunt only elderly and male animals."

However, the responses from the officials left many web users unimpressed, with the move receiving heavy criticisms.

"How come a foreigner can kill protected animals in our country simply by paying some money, while a Chinese citizen would probably be locked behind bars for shooting them?" asked a web user on

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