Is it a crime to buy and sell artificially bred wild animals as pets?The judicial interpretation of “The two Gao’s and Gao’s” has been finalized

2022-06-22 0 By

On April 7, 2022, the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate jointly issued the Interpretation on Several Issues concerning the Application of Law in Handling Criminal Cases of Destruction of Wildlife Resources (hereinafter referred to as the Interpretation).It is mentioned that the trade of wild animals with mature artificial breeding technology is generally not treated as a crime.The Interpretation will come into force on April 9, 2022.According to introduction, the interpretation mainly clarified the following issues: First, adjust the conviction and sentencing standards for crimes of destroying wildlife resources.The crimes of destroying wildlife resources involve smuggling precious animals and precious animal products, illegally fishing aquatic products, harming precious and endangered wildlife, illegal hunting, and illegally hunting, purchasing, transporting and selling terrestrial wildlife.In the past, judicial interpretation stipulated the standard of conviction and sentencing for related crimes according to the number of animals involved in the case, but the practice reflected that there were problems that could not fully adapt to the complex situation of the case.In view of this, the Interpretation no longer regards the destruction of wildlife resources as a quantitative crime, but takes value as the basic standard of conviction and sentencing, so as to better reflect the requirements of the principle of adaptation of crime to punishment.Second, we will punish crimes of destroying wildlife resources throughout the chain.At present, the crime of destroying wildlife resources forms a profit chain of “catch/hunt – purchase – sale”.In judicial practice, we should not only punish the front-end illegal fishing and hunting links, but also punish the follow-up fence links.Based on this, the Interpretation makes it clear that those who purchase or sell illegally caught aquatic products or illegally hunted wild animals shall cover up and conceal the conviction and punishment of the crime.The interpretation also clarifies the conviction and sentencing standards for crimes of illegally hunting, purchasing, transporting and selling terrestrial wildlife for food, newly added in Amendment 11 to the Criminal Law.Third, the rules for handling cases of artificially bred wild animals have been clarified.At present, with the improvement of economic and social development and scientific research level, breakthroughs have been made in the artificial breeding of many wild animals, and some rare and endangered wild animals have formed stable artificially bred populations that are completely independent of wild resources.In criminal prosecution, cases involving artificially bred wild animals should not be treated in the same way as those involving wild animals grown and bred naturally in the wild.Therefore, the Interpretation stipulates that cases involving artificially bred animals under any of the following circumstances will not be treated as crimes;(1) those listed in the list of wildlife under State Key protection after artificial breeding;(2) Artificial breeding technology mature, has become a scale, as a pet business, transportation.With regard to specialized issues such as the species and category of the animals involved, whether they are artificially bred, the tools and methods of illegal fishing and hunting, and the extent of damage to wildlife resources, the competent wildlife protection departments and investigation organs may issue confirmation opinions on the basis of on-the-spot inspection and records of inspection.If it is difficult to determine, a determination shall be made according to law on the basis of the expert opinion issued by the judicial expert institution, the report issued by the institution listed in Article 16 of this interpretation, the evidential materials provided by the defendant and his defender and other evidential materials after comprehensive examination.It is reported that in the next step, the “two High schools” will guide the local people’s courts and people’s procuratorates at all levels to strictly implement the criminal law and judicial interpretations, give full play to judicial functions, punish crimes of destroying wildlife resources in accordance with the law, effectively protect the ecological environment, and maintain biodiversity and ecological balance.Article/Beijing Youth Daily reporter Song Xia editor/Bai Long