Target: Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee
Goal: Thank China for enforcing punishment of the purchase of illegal wildlife products
China is viewed as a major threat to many endangered species—tiger products, rhino horns, and elephant tusks are notoriously part of the collections of many wealthy Chinese businessmen. However, a recent reinterpretation of a law prohibiting illegal wildlife trade emphasizes the culpability of consumers of banned wildlife products, as well as the traders. The law now states that anyone who eats or buys an endangered animal product is classed as an “illegal trader” and can be sentenced from five to 10 years in prison. Sign this petition to thank the National People’s Congress (NPC) for this move, which will work towards ending illegal wildlife trade in China.
The new wording of this law, which previously existed but was too ambiguous to be enforced, clamps down hard on people who buy and eat endangered animals. Owning rare wildlife body parts and eating endangered species is a status symbol in China. Illegal wildlife trade costs a fortune for the consumers, who boast of their wealth by contributing to the planet’s increasing issue of wildlife loss. This new law continues an encouraging trend in China’s recent history by adding yet another protection for endangered species.
China is on an upward path in its fight against the illegal wildlife trade. There is a long way to go for China’s protection of endangered species, and many other issues in the country need to be addressed, but this move by the NPC is a positive sign. Sign this petition to applaud and encourage China to continue its work in the protection of endangered animals.
Dear Zhang Dejiang,
I write to you with thanks for your efforts to preserve China’s most endangered and coveted species by strengthening the law on illegal wildlife trade. The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress’s decision to clamp down on the consumers of illegal wildlife products is a step in the right direction, and one that must be applauded.
There is still work to do in China. For example, it is still legal to buy products from “tiger farms,” horrendously cruel facilities where tigers are “farmed” for their products. So, although this law is welcome news for animal rights activists around the world, more still needs to be done to stop the abundant animal cruelty in China.
By making the purchase of illegal wildlife products punishable by a considerable jail sentence, you are helping to protect the world’s dwindling wildlife population. I thank you for your conservation efforts and encourage you to continue with this work.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Keven Law via Wikimedia Commons