It has taken years of lobbying from the international community, but news from Beijing this week, reported by Asia Today, is that a law has been enacted banning the hunting and trading of 420 endangered species.
Chinese medicine and tradition has long superseded conservation wisdom, especially for those with money to spare, which has led to the astronomical increase of international poaching of illegal animals and animal products. This new law, decided by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress in Beijing, attaches criminal penalties and jail time (3-10 years) for those who willingly "eat or trade" the meat of hundreds of threatened species.
Some of the best known species include giant pandas, rhinoceros, pangolin, shark (finning), Asian black bear, and golden monkeys. Prior to this new law, those obtaining, distributing, and using items like powdered rhino horn, bear paw, or giant turtle went unpunished, even with complete clarity about the threat of extinction to the species. The practice is now termed a "global threat" in China, which brings that nation more into line with most international communities, and will hopefully pull the rug out from under the black market poaching trade.
As a global family, we can disagree on many things, but preservation and protection of a way forward with a healthy planet is a universal concern.