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Lawmakers advise against unregulated release of captive animals

Updated: 2016-04-27 20:51

BEIJING -- Legislators on Wednesday discussed the need to regulate the freeing of captive animals while deliberating the newest revised draft of the wild animal protection law.

Without regulation, albeit well-intended, release of captive animals could have serious consequences, lawmakers said at an ongoing bi-monthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), citing media coverage of released animals, like foxes and snakes, that had gone on to cause damage and wreak havoc.

The freeing of captive animals needs to be supervised, lawmaker Sun Baoshu said.

"Both alien and indigenous species could pose a risk to the environment, and people's safety," Sun said, advising that a new provision that banned unregulated release should be added to the draft.

The release of alien species could compromise the local ecosystem, and indigenous species could be harmed if predators are released, said lawmaker Yan Xiaopei.

Fatalities could arise if animals are released into the wrong environment, Yan said, adding that the unchecked release of animals indirectly encourages poaching and the illegal trade of wild animals.

"Reckless release equals killing," Yan said.

Lawmakers also suggested measures be taken to better balance the protection of wild animals and that of people's safety and livelihood.

Some wild species have reproduced in large numbers and their presence has started to take a toll on the life and production activities of local species, lawmakers agreed. It was suggested that a review and revision of the protected animal list could help the situation.

The new revised draft, submitted to the top legislature for a second reading, stipulates that the central government evaluate the state protection list every five years and revise it accordingly.

Under certain circumstances, the five-year interval could be shortened, some legislators said.

The revised draft mandates that permits should be obtained for the hunting, captive breeding, sale, purchase, use, and import and export of protected wild animals.

The issuance of these documents should be made public to ensure better supervision of wild animal protection, lawmaker Fang Xin said.

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