The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on the China-Africa wildlife trade. In response to the outbreak that was first detected in a wet market that sold live animals in Wuhan, the Chinese government has introduced a number of new laws that will significantly restrict the trade in both live and endangered animals.
In February, the National People’s Congress unveiled new updates to the country’s Wildlife Protection Law that will outlaw the sale of certain live animals and bans the consumption of bushmeat. Two months later, the government took action to limit the trade and sale of pangolins by removing pangolin scales from the list of official ingredients approved for use in traditional Chinese medicine and upgraded the endangered animal to class 1 protected status, the highest level of legal protection available.
Linda Chou closely follows these regulatory changes as a Beijing-based policy advisor for the international wildlife conservation group TRAFFIC. Linda joins Eric & Cobus this week to discuss the future of the China-Africa wildlife trade and how all of these new Chinese laws will impact illicit animal trafficking.
- The Guardian: Coronavirus closures reveal vast scale of China’s secretive wildlife farm industry by Michael Standaert
- Mongabay: Banned: No more pangolin scales in traditional medicine, China declares by Elizabeth Claire Alberts
- South China Morning Post: Coronavirus: what next for China’s wildlife trade ban? by Simone McCarthy
About Linda Chou:
Linda is the policy advisor of TRAFFIC China. She is specialized in international wildlife trade. She has been working in the field of international ivory trade, legislation and policy analysis associated with illegal wildlife trade for seven years.
Prior to joining TRAFFIC two years ago, Linda worked for other international and Chinese local NGOs as project coordinator and Ivory and Wildlife Trade Program officer. Linda is currently responsible for monitoring China post-ban ivory market and providing technical support to Chinese wildlife management authority and law enforcement agencies on combating wildlife trafficking.