China has drafted a law to punish eating endangered species with jail time, in an effort to curb illegal hunting in the country. The bill extends both to ordering in restaurants and buying them to cook.
While hunting endangered species is illegal in China, this new law will address the demand for meat and punish consumers who knowingly eat or buy it. Depending on the offense, offenders could face jail for three to 10 years. This is a big step for the country, reports China Daily:
It's the first time concrete rules have been proposed to prohibit the eating of endangered wildlife. In some parts of China, eating wildlife is a centuries-old tradition.
The Chinese government has placed 420 animal species on a national protection list, making it illegal to hunt, slaughter or sell animals on the list. Some of the country's most iconic endangered animals (who will hopefully soon be a little safer) include pandas, pangolins, golden monkeys and Asian black bears.
The bill was submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature. It is scheduled to be reviewed this week.