How did the illegal trade of these rare wild animals happen?

——Investigation on the illegal trade of wild animals in some areas

  Xinhua News Agency, Chengdu, April 8 Question: How did the illegal trade of these rare wild animals happen?

——Investigation on the illegal trade of wild animals in some areas

  Xinhua News Agency reporter Wu Guangyu

  On the 7th, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate jointly issued the "Interpretation on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Law in Handling Criminal Cases of Destruction of Wildlife Resources", making provisions for the new situation and new problems of crimes of destroying wildlife resources, emphasizing the whole chain of punishment for damage. Wildlife Resource Crime.

  In recent years, as my country continues to crack down on the illegal trade of wild animals and eliminate the bad habit of eating wild animals, the protection level of rare animals has continued to improve.

However, in some places, there is still a secret black production chain that makes huge profits by "whitewashing" the illegal trade of rare wild animals.

Who is involved in these illegal transactions?

How to plug related loopholes?

Xinhua News Agency reporters launched an investigation.

  Hidden wildlife trade chain emerges

  On December 3, 2020, a vehicle containing three poached red pandas was stopped by the Ya'an police in Tianquan County, Ya'an City.

In Li Mouhua's farm in Fangshui Town, Jiangyou City, Mianyang, the police rescued 4 Sichuan golden monkeys who were locked in iron cages.

Through investigation and interrogation, the police found that there were 18 golden snub-nosed monkeys and 17 red pandas acquired by Li Mouhua in 2020.

  my country's wildlife trade management system is relatively strict, and it is very difficult for poached wild animals to be listed for trading.

However, according to the police, a large number of poached wild animals handled by Li Mouhua successfully entered the market and flowed to zoos in Shandong, Jiangsu, Anhui and other places.

  The reporter learned that behind Li Mouhua is a black industry chain that relies on "whitewashing" poached wild animals for illegal trade.

And "whitewashing" the identities of poached animals can illegally make huge profits.

  According to the police, a wild golden snub-nosed monkey was sold by poachers to Li Mouhua for 13,000 yuan each.

The price that the "whitewashed" people bought from Li was 75,000 yuan each.

However, when the poached animals flowed into the formal trading market after being "washed", the price soared to 450,000 to 500,000 yuan per animal.

  The reporter found that this phenomenon is not an isolated case.

  In the "5.28" case supervised by the Ministry of Public Security in 2021, after the red pandas purchased from poachers for 5,000 yuan each were "washed", the sale price after approval by the relevant departments could reach 115,000 yuan each. .

In the "1.18" case supervised by the Ministry of Public Security in 2021, the price of wild macaques purchased from poachers for 2,000 yuan after "whitewashing" was as high as 70,000 yuan.

  The police said that many lawbreakers were driven by huge interests to take risks.

In recent years, Sichuan public security organs have continued to carry out special operations and intensified their efforts to crack down on 1,560 wildlife crime cases in 2021. The situation of rare wildlife protection is still grim.

  There are loopholes in some links of wildlife trade supervision

  Who is "whitewashing" the illegal trade of rare wild animals?

How do they operate?

  The reporter found that some zoos and wild animal breeding enterprises made huge profits by "whitewashing" the illegal trade of rare wild animals.

  According to relevant laws and regulations in my country, the sale of wild animals must be approved by the forestry and grass department.

Among them, the national first-level protected animals need the approval of the National Forestry and Grass Bureau; the second-level protected animals need the approval of the provincial forestry and grass department.

To become an experimental animal, you also need to apply for an experimental animal production license and an experimental animal use license from the science and technology management department.

  "Many people who sell wild animals are skilled, and these people often come from enterprises or institutions with corresponding qualifications for transportation, breeding, and even sales." A police officer who handled the case said that the domestication and reproduction of wild animals has a long cycle, high costs, and success. rate is very low.

In contrast, the huge profits that can be obtained by "cleaning" the stolen animals and changing hands are very tempting for related companies.

  In the "5.15" case cracked by the Ya'an police in May 2019, Chengdu Qionglai City Fansheng Wildlife Breeding Co., Ltd., which acquired, transported, and sold red pandas, is a company qualified to domesticate, breed, and rescue red pandas.

  After some breeding companies and zoos illegally purchase and capture wild animals, they will try to cover up the source of the animals, and then use the various qualifications in their hands to apply for new legal identities for the animals.

According to the police, in the "12.3" case in 2020, the head of Tongling Zoo, who sold the Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkey, Shen Mou, used the seedling flower company under his name to "balance" the illegal purchase of the Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkey with a false "root carving and flower transaction". .

At the same time, the zoo used its own wild animal domestication and breeding license and wild animal business and utilization license, and under the guise of the zoo's "self-breeding", it went through legal procedures for resale of these Sichuan golden monkeys, and successfully "washed the white".

  There are also some enterprises with qualifications for domestication, breeding, sales, and scientific research of experimental animals and wild animals, which are also engaged in related illegal activities.

In the "1.18" case of the Minister, Ya'an Sen police discovered that Sichuan Hengshu Biotechnology Company with relevant qualifications had illegally purchased a large number of stolen wild macaques for a long time, and "cleaned" them and resold them to institutions with relevant scientific research needs. 230 macaques involved in the case were identified.

  There are also individual local forest and grass agency staff suspected of guarding themselves against theft.

During the investigation of the "5.28" case by the Minister, the police found that the suspect in the case and the person in charge of the breeding farm, Wei, had obtained approval for the sale of red pandas from the competent authorities for many times through illegal means.

In addition, the police also found that some staff members of local forestry and grassland agencies have violated the law and discipline.

  At present, the police have handed over relevant clues to the Chongqing Municipal Commission for Discipline Inspection and Supervision.

  Strictly investigate and monitor self-theft, plug regulatory loopholes, and improve the traceability system for wild animals

  The reporter learned from the Wildlife and Wetland Protection Department of Sichuan Forestry and Grass Bureau that Sichuan is rich in ecological resources and is one of the 36 hotspots for biodiversity conservation in the world.

With the growing demand for ornamental wild animals, some lawbreakers focus on areas rich in wildlife resources and carry out illegal acts.

In this regard, the Sichuan Forestry and Grass Department stated that it will effectively strengthen source control, strengthen the supervision of artificial breeding sites and exhibition venues, strengthen supervision in an all-round way, and cut off the interest chain of crimes that destroy wildlife resources.

  Zhang Li, deputy dean of the Law School of China University of Political Science and Law, suggested that the forestry and grass department should improve the system and norms of the approval work related to wild animal trade, while improving the efficiency of approval, strictly implement the supervisory responsibilities, thoroughly investigate the behavior of supervision and self-theft; increase the supervision of wild animal breeding and breeding Dynamic supervision of venues; increase the publicity of administrative actions such as administrative licensing, administrative penalties, and sign issuance, and actively play the role of public participation in supervision.

  Experts such as Liu Yanlin, a doctor of zoology from Peking University and a wildlife protection practitioner, also suggested that the pedigree investigation of rare wild animals should be increased and a DNA database should be established.

Chips are implanted into wild animals entering breeding sites and zoos, and individual animal flows can be traced through digital means.

Experts also called on breeding sites to establish and improve strict wildlife ledgers, and to increase supervision and requirements for the artificial breeding, operation and utilization of key national protected wildlife to regularly publish information on the flow of wildlife.

  The State Forestry and Grassland Administration stated that it will focus on three measures to promote the protection of wild animals and their habitats during the "14th Five-Year Plan" period.

One is to implement the construction of national parks and other natural reserves and the protection of wild animals and plants.

The second is to strengthen the management of wildlife resources.

The third is to build a monitoring and evaluation system for the protection of wild animals and their habitats.

(Participating in the writing: Hu Lu)