Coping with Wildlife Markets

China is going forward in curbing wildlife breeding. According to the Bangkok Post, farmers of the provinces of Hunan and Jiangxi will be bought out, if they give up animal breeding. This sort of generating income has come under scrutinity in the context of Covid-19.  Both of the provinces are bordering Hubei with Wuhan as its capital.

The final objective is ending wildlife breeding of animals, which are going to the foodmarkets. 

So far, the pandemic has been called „a wake-up call for the Asia-Pacific region to close illegal and unregulated wildlife markets“.

Ducks on display, Hunan province, China.

It is widely known, that the People’s Republic of China has an almost „insatiable hunger“ for an array of animal parts. This stems from old beliefs with a long-standing cultural-historical background.

However, the demand for animal products is high in almost all of Asia and animals, among them severely endangered species, are misused as commodities.

Southeast Asia is hereby the center region of legal and illegal wildlife trading, and Myanmar is involved as well.

Besides having physical trading places in Mandalay, Mong La, „the capital of wildlife trafficking of the world“, the Golden Rock and the Three Pagodas Pass, Myanmar’s online markets offer new oppurtunities for the criminal structures of wildlife trading via Whatsapp and Facebook.

The international airports at Yangon, Mandalay, and Naypyitaw as well as Bago‘s Hanthawaddy airport are other spots of smuggling activities related to wildlife in Myanmar. Here, Non-Governmental Organisations like TRAFFIC recently recommended a better training of authority staff and welcoming an anti-corruption mentality.

Myanmar signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CETIS; 1973) in 1997. In May 2018, the parliament passed the law on the Conservation of Biodiversity and Protected Areas (CBPA), in which increased fines for violating regulations has been fixed as MMK 1 million (US$ 680) and/or 10 years imprisonment for illegal hunting and/or trading.

Weak law enforcement in general and wildlife markets placed beyond the control of the central government soften this sharpened legislature. Mong La, for example, is on semi-autonomous Kokang territory in the Golden Triangle. This means, it is within Burmese borders, but run by the Chinese.

It is doubtful that legal initiatives concerning the provinces of Hunan and Jiangxi will reach out to Yunnan, bordering Myanmar.

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