Man jailed for buying 'parrot blind box' for 388 yuan

  Sending "pet blind boxes" by express has attracted widespread attention in the society.

Yangzi Evening News Ziniu News reporter learned that Shenzhen Longgang District People's Court heard a special case of harming precious and endangered wild animals recently. The defendant in the case obtained a national second-class protected animal, Little Sun, by purchasing a "pet blind box". Parrot was eventually sentenced to seven months in prison, suspended for ten months, and fined 5,000 yuan.

  Will there be a difference in conviction and sentencing between buying a "blind box" and buying precious and endangered wildlife directly?

How can general enthusiasts avoid relevant legal risks?

The reporter interviewed lawyers on these issues.

  Yangzi Evening News/Ziniu News reporter Wan Chengyuan

  388 yuan to buy "pet blind box", get 1 small sun parrot

  Since June 2019, Hu has successively browsed the information on the sale of wild animals on the Internet, added the other party's WeChat after contacting the seller, and reached a wild animal transaction.

In March and April 2021, he purchased a small sun parrot online for 388 yuan by purchasing a pet blind box.

The little sun parrot is the common name for the green-cheeked conure.

According to the judicial appraisal of a judicial appraisal institute in Guangdong, the green-cheeked conure that was seized from Hu’s home has been listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and has been approved as a national second-class protected animal.

  The Longgang court found that before buying the "blind box", Hu knew that he might receive precious and endangered wild animals such as "little sun parrots".

The judgment of the case shows that from June to November 2019, Hu also illegally acquired a Sulcata tortoise at a price of about 850 yuan, a green iguana at a price of about 550 yuan, and a price of 1,088 yuan. The price of 1 leopard tortoise was illegally acquired, and the seller "shipped" these wild animals by express.

  According to judicial identification, the leopard tortoises and green iguanas seized from Hu's home also belong to the second-class national protected animals.

  The sales of "parrot blind box" are relatively hidden, and the seller claims to "only make money without losing money"

  The "Pet Blind Box" once attracted widespread attention in May 2021.

At that time, some netizens broke the news that a large number of "pet blind boxes" appeared in a courier point in Chengdu, and many kittens and puppies were dying on the roadside. The courier point collected more than 170 "blind boxes" for live cats and dogs.

Since then, the "pet blind box" problem has been exposed in many places.

  The Yangtze Evening News Ziniu News reporter learned that compared with ordinary "pet blind boxes" such as cats and dogs, "parrot blind boxes" are relatively small and involve illegal and criminal issues, so their sales and purchases are more hidden. .

  People familiar with the matter said that "parrot blind boxes" and related transactions are generally conducted through WeChat groups.

Yangzi Evening News Ziniu News reporter searched the China Judgment Documents Network and found that the buyers and sellers in many criminal cases involving the sale and purchase of parrots met through the parrot enthusiast WeChat group, and then added friends to communicate and pay for transactions.

An exposed image of a suspected "parrot blind box" advertisement contains the promotional text "388 (RMB) for a box with free shipping and only earns no loss", and the odd number and "approximate market price" of 10 parrot species are listed side by side.

  Court: Act constitutes crime of endangering precious and endangered wild animals

  After hearing the case, the Shenzhen Longgang Court held that the defendant Hu disregarded national laws and illegally purchased precious and endangered wild animals, which violated the provisions of Article 241, paragraph 1 of the Criminal Law, and constituted the crime of endangering precious and endangered wild animals.

  In view of Hu's truthful confession of his crimes after he arrived at the case, with the circumstances of admitting guilt and accepting punishment, first-time offenders, etc., the Longgang Court finally sentenced the defendant Hu to seven months in prison, suspended for ten months, and fined 5,000 yuan.

  The peculiarity of this case is that Hu obtained the little sun parrot by purchasing a "blind box".

Will a situation like this seem to contain "uncertainty", compared to buying precious and endangered wildlife directly, will there be a difference in conviction and sentencing?

  Chang Xuan, executive director of Jiangsu Jinxiehe Law Firm, said that from the judgment of the case, the procuratorate did not consider the purchase of the "blind box" as a mitigating or mitigating circumstance when prosecuting and making a judgment.

She believes that the court has found that Hu knew that he might receive a small sun parrot, so from a subjective point of view, he purchased the "blind box" to obtain precious wild animals, and his behavior should be directly or indirectly. Box” and direct purchase are of the same nature.

  【Attorney's statement】

  Buying a parrot as a pet is risky, lawyers remind you not to take chances

  So, if it does not involve precious and endangered wild animals, is it legal to buy and sell "pet blind boxes"?

  Chang Xuan told the Yangtze Evening News Ziniu News reporter that although the law does not directly prohibit the sale and purchase of "pet blind boxes", according to Article 33 of the Implementation Rules of the Postal Law, all kinds of live animals are prohibited to be delivered or carried in the mail. Express delivery is currently the main way to buy and sell blind boxes.

At the same time, the animal breeding, transportation, and business operations involved in the purchase and sale of "pet blind boxes" must comply with the epidemic prevention and quarantine requirements of the Animal Quarantine Law. Otherwise, it will be suspected of breaking the law and may be subject to administrative penalties. Polluting the environment may constitute a crime.

  Chang Xuan also reminded that buying a parrot as a pet itself has high legal risks, regardless of whether it is through the "blind box".

  She told reporters that in fact, most parrot species are listed in Appendices 1 and 2 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, and are listed as first- and second-level protected animals in my country. Our laws protect precious and endangered wild animals. Very strict, selling and buying parrots can easily violate the criminal law and constitute a crime.

  The reporter learned that there are only three kinds of parrots that individuals can legally breed in my country: peach-faced peony parrot, budgerigar, and cockatiel.

However, in actual transactions, some merchants will take advantage of enthusiasts' pursuit of unique curiosity, as well as their unfamiliarity with parrot species and relevant laws, to recommend other species of parrots to enthusiasts, in order to obtain higher profits.

  Chang Xuan said that from the perspective of buyers, the fluke mentality of "buying a few birds will not be discovered" must be avoided.

In fact, the best way is not to buy parrots to keep at home, because this will not only bring legal risks, but this behavior itself is also a kind of harm to birds.

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