Radio Free Asia: China’s livestock whitelist
Pei Su talks to Radio Free Asia about the ambiguity surrounding China’s revised National Livestock and Poultry Genetic Resources Catalogue published in May, which permits many uses of wild animals, amphibians, reptiles and companion animals.
Broadcast in Chinese, Pei talks live on Radio Free Asia about the significance of protecting wildlife through a whitelist of animals which may be commercially farmed.
Pei discusses how the list overlooks serious concerns voiced by Chinese and international scientists and experts, who have stressed the extreme risks of zoonotic pandemics which are linked to the intensive farming of wild animals. Many species lose-out in the new list by being categorised as livestock instead of wildlife, including: fur-bearing animals extensively and intensively farmed for their pelts; amphibians, now listed as ‘aquatic animals’ have become legal livestock for farmers; reptiles, widely farmed for their meat, skin, blood and for medicines; companion animals, which although no longer listed as livestock also receive no protection from exploitation when farmed for purposes other than meat; and finally humans, the ultimate losers in the COVID-19 pandemic, unfortunately at increasing risk of falling victim to future zoonotic viruses.