China has released a new draft of its wildlife conservation law, and it does little to actually promote conservation. (Nat Geo News)
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- The Nat Geo News article outlines the omissions in China’s new wildlife conservation law. What is the leading wildlife conservation law in the Untied States?
- The leading wildlife conservation law in the U.S. is the Endangered Species Act.
- One of the ways the Chinese law fails to protect animals is through its support of “captive breeding programs of wild animals for commercial purposes.” What is a captive breeding program? Take a look at our terrific activity for some help.
- Captive breeding describes the controlled, supervised reproduction of rare species in a closed environment, such as a zoo. Captive breeding is a costly and complex process, but often benefits species that are critically endangered in the wild, such as giant pandas.
- What is an example of a “captive breeding program for commercial purposes”? Read through the Nat Geo News article for some help.
- China’s tiger farms breed tigers for their coats and bones, as well as display in the lucrative tourist trade.
- Additionally, “China has some of the world’s biggest mink, fox, and raccoon dog (also known as tanuki) fur farms.”
- Another way China’s conservation law fails to protect wildlife is through allowing use of animal products in traditional medicine. What is an example of a product used in traditional medicine? Read through the Nat Geo News article for some help.
- The tigers bred in China’s tiger farms are often killed for their bones, which are used in the treatment of asthma, rheumatism, headaches, and fever.
- According to Nat Geo, “Chinese bear bile farms hold more than 10,000 bears whose bile is routinely extracted for use” in treating a wide variety of ailments, including: hemorrhoids, sore throats, sores, bruising, muscle ailments, sprains, epilepsy, fever, poor eyesight, gall stones, the overconsumption of alcohol, and liver diseases. Extracting bear bile doesn’t kill the bear, but the conditions of extraction are, according to Nat Geo, painful and invasive. So-called “bile bears” include the Asiatic black bear, the sun bear, and the brown bear.
- Another way China’s conservation law fails to protect wildlife is through “the endorsement of wild animals for public displays and performances.” What is an example of this? Read through the Nat Geo News article for some help.
- According to Nat Geo, “wild animal performances are allowed at safari parks, marine parks, circuses, aquariums, and other privately owned enterprises. Tigers jumping through rings of fire, bears riding bicycles, and monkeys doing acrobatics are just a few of the myriad shows put on for tourists.”
- Finally, China’s conservation law allows wild animal products to be used in food. What are some examples of this? Read through the Nat Geo News article for some help.
- More than 100 million sharks are killed annually. (Take a look at this devastating graphic to put that number in perspective.) Much of this hunting is driven by finning for shark fin soup, a delicacy popular in China and throughout Asia.
- According to Nat Geo News, “Demand for bird’s nest soup, which is made from the saliva-based nests of the swiftlet, is driving those birds to extinction.”
- It’s not all bad news. What positive aspects of China’s conservation plan does the Nat Geo News article acknowledge?
- Tiger bone products are officially banned in China.
- The government has recommended against animal performances in zoos.
- The Chinese government has banned the consumption of shark fin soup and bird’s nest soup at official banquets.
Nat Geo: Five Ways China’s Wildlife Protection Law Will Harm Wildlife
Nat Geo: What is conservation?
Nat Geo: Introduction to Captive Breeding