Xinjiang bans wild animal trade, circuses with live animals

File photo: Border patrol officers at Altay, Xinjiang, examine a batch of wolf skin which was smuggled into the country.[Photo/Xinhua]

Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in Northwest China has completely banned trading and trafficking of wild animals and their parts and products, and circus performances involving live animals.

Meanwhile, relevant government departments also have suspended granting permits or licenses to local companies and individuals to sell, purchase and artificially breed wild animals.

According to a notice jointly published by Xinjiang's Market Supervision and Administration Bureau, Agricultural and Rural Affairs Department and the Forestry and Grassland Bureau, relevant departments have jointly established a special task force and launched a region-wide inspection campaign on local markets, zoos and wildlife parks to investigate the illegal trading of wild animals, their parts and products and illegal live animal performances since late last month.

The notice was issued on Jan 27 with an aim to prevent and control the outbreak of the deadly novel coronavirus pneumonia in the region.

According to sources with the Department of Public Security of Xinjiang, local police, in cooperating with local market supervision and forestry and grassland departments, have investigated a total of 347 restaurants, zoos and related venues where illegal trading of wild animals have been reported since Feb 7.

More than 140 wild animals were seized during the inspection campaign and a number of cases involving wild animals were investigated, police sources said.

Twenty-eight people who violated relevant regulations and rules have been investigated and more than 330 hunting tools were seized, police sources said.

The campaign dealt a heavy blow to the illegal events involving wild animals and deterring suspected possible criminals in the region, police sources said.