A male peacock on sale at the agricultural products market, in Guangdong province, for 900 yuan. Photo: SCMP Pictures

Chinese market’s sale of peacocks, deer and wild boar for food sparks permit fears

Officials say they have been making efforts to try to crack down on the illegal sale of wild animals at the wholesale market in Guangdong

Kwong Man-ki

Traders at a regular Chinese agricultural products wholesale market have been selling wild animals, including peacocks, deer and wild boar, mainland media reports.

This has raised concerns because such animals cannot be sold by traders without official permits.

At least two stalls at the Xingfu agricultural products market, in Conghua district of southern China’s Guangdong province, were found to be selling colourful male peacocks for 900 yuan (HK1,136) and female peacocks for 350 yuan, the Guangzhou Daily reported.

The trader at one stall was quoted as saying that some customers were buying the birds to eat.

At another stall at the market a wild boar was being kept inside a cage, the report said. The owner of the stall was reported as saying that the boar, caught in northeastern China, weighed more than 100 catties and was being offered for sale at a price of 38 yuan per catty. One catty is equivalent to about 0.6 kilogram.

The same stall had a separate area where three deer were being offered for sale, the report said. The stall owner showed the newspaper’s reporter some deer and wild boar meat from animals that had been slaughtered on the day before.

Zhang Qiang, an expert in endangered animals in southern China, was quoted by the newspaper as saying that it was illegal in China to sell any of these wild animals without such permits.

The newspaper report did not say whether traders at the market had obtained official permits allowing them to sell such animals.

However, an official at Conghua’s forestry administration said it had been making efforts to try to crack down on the illegal sale of wild animals at the wholesale market.