Chinese public rejects trophy hunt auction

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2006:


CHENGDU–The China State Forestry
Administration on August 11 indefinitely
postponed a scheduled auction of 289 licenses to
allow foreigners to hunt animals of 14 species.
“The auction will be held in a proper way after
soliciting suggestions from the public,” said
State Forestry Administration spokesperson Cao
Three days after the Beijing Youth Daily
published an exposé of the auction plans, “The
response from the public is beyond our
expectation,” admitted State Forestry
Administration deputy director of wildlife
protection Wang Wei.

To have been held in Chengdu, the
capital city of Sichuan province, the auction
was presented as an improvement over a permitting
system that since 1985 has allowed 1,101
foreigners to kill 1,347 trophy animals, paying
$36.4 million to do so. Minimum bids included
$40,000 for a wild yak, $10,000 for an Argali
sheep, $6,000 for a red deer, $2,5000 for a
bhanal (blue sheep), and $200 for a wolf.
The auction would have allowed foreigners
to hunt at sites in Sichuan, Ningxia, Qinghai,
Shaanxi, Gansu, and Xinjiang provinces.
“The hunting quotas we set for each
species this time are quite limited, and only
the old are allowed to be killed, so as to ensure
that trophy hunting would not have a negative
impact on the wildlife population,” Wang Wei
told the Youth Daily. “The money from the
auction will be used for protection of endangered
“We are against auction hunts,”
countered Yang Xin, head of the Chengdu
environmental group Green River. “Some people
may get the idea that the government is loosening
protection of wild animals and those who have
money can do what they want,” Yang Xin said.
Studies done by Green River of the Hoh
Xil habitat for endangered Tibetan antelopes in
southwestern China, and around the source of the
Yangtze River in Qinghai province, “have found
that the wildlife population did begin to recover
after the local government confiscated guns from
local residents, but we are not very sure if
their wild population are stable enough for
hunting,” Yang Xin added. “Even if the number of
some wild animal was so much as to cause
trouble,” Yang Xin continued, “trophy hunting
is not the best solution now,” he said.

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