Hundreds of wild animal, bird carcasses seized at market in China
Some of the animals were protected species, but market vendors will not face prosecution, according to new website report
The carcasses of nearly 900 wild animals, some of them protected species, were seized by police at a market in northern China, but nobody was charged as the cases were deemed “mild”, according to a news website report.
The dead animals were seized by the police at a market in Tianjin on Wednesday, Thepaper.cn reported.
The meat was on sale ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday and included birds and mammals such as rabbits, with protected species killed, according to the article.
The police said the carcasses included 595 wild pheasants, 272 hares, 26 wild ducks and one leopard cat.
The seriousness of the case was not determined by the number of animals involved, but the species, a police officer was quoted as saying.
The birds and mammals did not belong to critically endangered species which would lead to criminal charges against the vendors.
The police handed the case over to market inspectors, which could lead to fines, the article said.
An animal protection expert was quoted as saying there was a weak spot in China’s animal protection law.
It imposes severe punishments for hunting or poaching with jail terms of up to three years for killing 20 protected wild birds species.
The highest punishment for selling animals is a fine, the expert said.