100,000 police take part in Chinese wildlife raids

News is filtering out about a series of wildlife raids undertaken in China that has seen wildlife markets shut down, High Street stores selling animals parts raided and web sites closed. You can not help but be impressed by the sheer scale of the raids involving about 100,000 police officers and disheartened by the size of the illegal wildlife market as 130,000 wild animals were seized.

The information about the recent raids was released today by the State Forestry Administration in Beijing on their departmental web site. The raids targeted places that were openly selling endangered species and products from endangered animals.

Some of the figures released by the Administration included:

  • raids on 5,962 markets,
  • 13 wildlife trafficking gangs shut down,
  • 1,031 illegal wildlife traders caught,
  • seized over 130,000 wild animals
  • 2,000 animal products worth nearly seven million yuan (1.11 million U.S. dollars) seized.

 During the police raids over 7,000 High Street shops were targeted and shut down for trading in endangered species and 628 web sites selling wildlife and endangered species products were shut down. Over 1600 messages were removed from various web sites that promoted wildlife products.

The State Forestry Administration said that the raids undertaken was to protect endangered species, clean up the internet of illegal and criminal activities and also to bring back a more normal market environment.

This action is extremely welcome as illegal trade in wildlife is openly carried out in China. The question is if this is just the beginning or a prolonged crackdown on wildlife criminals and traffickers in the country or just a ‘one off’ action as China heads towards a major change in government.

While China has many of the older generation who hold traditional views about the power of wild animal parts or the status of keeping endangered species there are changes in views among the growing affluent young. 

Whether it’s a new-found interest in protecting endangered species and tackling wildlife crime or just a way of appeasing the young during the current once in a decade political changeover there’s one thing for certain and that is there’s a lot of people now no longer trading endangered species. It will not take long before their places are taken by others – wildlife trading is a very profitable business – but it’s a start and gives some endangered species a short, very short, breathing space as trafficking networks are rebuilt.


Posted in Human Impacts, Misc and tagged , .
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  1. Once China showed no concern to wildlife conservation. But now efforts of many conservationists like George Schaller and others have educated the Chinese authorities to take some corrective measures to save its endangered wildlife. I as willdlife Chief in the state of Jammu and Kashmir adjoining Tibetan autonomous region of China have seized several consignments In Ladakh of wildlife products being smuggled to China. Ladakh is hot spot of wildlife smuggling to China. This action of China by raiding the hideouts of wildlife markets will definitely have its effect on the smuggling route of Ladakh. China recently have taken several measures to protect its wildlife and landscapes. Their is now future for wildlife in China. I heard that population of Chiru, blacknecked Crane and other endangered species hag increased. India should learn lessons from China as to how the natural heritage of the country can be saved.

    • Hi Dr Seth

      Thank you for your reply. I have to agree that China over the last few years have really sterted to make a differnecce in wildlife conservation and it’s not being reported in the West.
      There’s still a lot to do but things are going in the right direction. some of the reforrestation programme going on in China are inspiring.
      Hopefully it will continue after the governmnet changes have been completed.

  2. How come there is no more info anywhere about this in the press and what happened to the wildlife they ceased? I find this very dodgy. If its true, i hope it wont be a one off action, it really is about time they start behaving in a civilized way when it comes to wildlife and pets, appaling and medival attitude towards life. nothing progressive there.

  3. An incredible and unprecedented leap in the right direction for China. The authorities responsible must be wholeheartedly congratulated. While Asia is undoubtedly the major hub for this activity, wildlife markets exist in the USA and Europe including the UK – although in the UK such events are illegal and diminishing. Its great to see China taking a leading role to combat this horrendous abuse of wildlife.

  4. This is most encouraging and it will do China a whole lot of good as so many people now will not buy ‘Made in China’ until they stop abusing, killing and eating animals.

  5. If this is true. I sincerely applaud the Chinese who are stopping the wild life trade. Thank you. Now if we could only incorporate veganism, I and many others would respect the Chinese more.

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