China's top legislature will amend the law on the protection of wildlife this year in an effort to fight the novel coronavirus outbreak, an official said Monday.
Efforts will also be made to accelerate the amendment of laws on animal epidemic prevention and other areas, Wang Ruihe, an official with the Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, said at a press conference in Beijing.
Potential public health security risks caused by trading and eating wild animals have drawn worldwide concern, Wang said, stressing the need to improve laws and regulations related to wildlife, tighten supervision over law enforcement and toughen the crackdown on wildlife trafficking.
The novel coronavirus is suspected to be related to wildlife.
Despite the proven effects of the law on the protection of wildlife after its revision in 2016, there are still some problems in its implementation, Wang said.
He pointed out that relevant supporting regulations related to the law are yet to be rolled out and improved. Supervision, inspection and law enforcement should be strengthened to ensure that wildlife trade markets are banned and closed.
Wang also stressed the importance of improving the law on the protection of wildlife and other relevant laws and regulations, citing the need to expand the scope of the adjustment to the law and toughen the crackdown on and punishment for the illegal hunting and eating of wild animals.
The Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee will make a decision on the legal issues soon, Wang said.