From The China Watch:
Two renowned Chinese biologists recently called on the central government to ban the consumption of endangered wild animals by government officials. Xu Zhihong, the president of Peking University, and Pan Wenshi, a professor at the university, recommended that the government enact laws to prohibit officials from eating rare or endangered wildlife items such as shark fin, abalone, giant salamander, and spotted deer, and that it evaluate all government representatives on their eating behavior.
The biologists believe the consumption of wild animals by officials at the public expense has fed the illegal trade in these animals and led to destructive poaching of certain species.
“In China, people’s appetites have already posed a grim threat to the existence of wild animals,” said Lu Zhi, a biology professor at Peking University and the country director of Conservation International China, who supports the proposal. She noted that many wild animals served at restaurant tables are endangered, including snakes, pangolins, turtles, tortoises, and salamanders. Government officials are eating them illegally, she said. [Full Text]