The government would auction licenses based on types and numbers of wild animals, ranging from about $200 for a wolf, the only carnivore on the list, to as much as $40,000 for a yak, the Beijing Youth Daily said.
These licenses are being sold with the cooperation of several of China’s western provinces. The money they raise will help local officials get that hi-def television they always wanted, and also help protect wildlife against people who might want to kill them. But remember:
The hunting licenses would be available only to foreigners, given China’s strict rules on gun control, the daily said.
“Hunting is not slaughtering,” it quoted an official at a wild animal protection department as saying.
This is true. You don’t need a license to slaughter animals, you just need to be in shape and bring your own club.
Anyway, we don’t know about you, the idea of foreigners carrying around rifles in the wilderness of Sichuan amuses us. With their violent violent tempers, tendency to drink and then shoot at each other, and general lack of respect for human rights and international laws and conventions, this, our humble opinion is just a bunch of disasters waiting to happen. Think about it — are you going to be able to test the sobriety of the foreign hunters before they go out? Will you confiscate that bottle in the trunk and thereby ruin their Chivas lives? Will you make sure that pandas and other endangered species are all wearing protective orange vests at all times?
Commercial hunting is a problem in China, especially in the western provinces, including the ones participating in the auction, plus Tibet: These provinces contains many of the rare and endangered species in China, and where many of the animals are worth more, at least to some, dead instead of alive. Wild yaks, snow leopards, cranes, and marmots all fetch a pretty penny in black markets, and while these new licenses seem innocuous enough, we can’t help but wonder what if, what if …
Photo from www.sourball.com.