(September 22, 2022) Last month, WildAid China launched its new PSA and billboards campaign “Say No to Shipping Illegal Wildlife Products” in partnership with China Wildlife Conservation Association and China Express Association, and featuring the popular Chinese actor Huang Xuan. The campaign seeks to raise public awareness of the existing laws in China that prohibit sending and delivering protected wildlife and its products, such as rhino horn and ivory.
Last month, the incident of a Chinese vlogger buying and eating a Great White Shark caused a wave of speculation on the Internet. Great White Sharks are listed as CITES Appendix II species and protected by Chinese law. The vlogger is currently under police investigation and may face up to ten years in prison, with fines or confiscation of property. One particular shot in her vlog caught people’s attention: the 1.7-meter-long shark was delivered by express shipping from a port more than 1,000 kilometers away to the inland city where the vlogger is located.
In recent years, multiple reports of the illegal wildlife trade using express shipping have been exposed. At the end of 2021, China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate announced that 1,153 people were prosecuted for delivering or sending wildlife from 2017 to 2020. Express shipping has become a critical but weak point to cut off wildlife trafficking.
In 2016, China issued Regulations on the Administration of Prohibited Items to ban the shipping of protected wildlife and its body parts, such as rhino horn, ivory and tiger bone. In 2020, the State Post Bureau issued a notice to all shipping enterprises requiring couriers to do an inspection when receiving the delivery items. It also requires couriers to stop delivery if they find protected wildlife or its products and immediately report to the public security and wildlife protection supervisors. Unfortunately, these regulations are not well known among couriers and consumers.
The “Say No to Shipping Illegal Wildlife Products” PSA tells a humorous story of a rhino horn seller that fantasizes about delivering rhino horn to buyers through various means of transportation, including express shipping. But no matter how hard he tries, he fails to escape the inspection of the courier, played by Huang Xuan, and is eventually arrested.
“Communication is an important tool for wildlife conservation. It makes couriers understand that they should not only rejecting illegal wildlife products but also have ability to cut off the wildlife trafficking through reporting which helps law enforcement authorities track down the chain and find out the criminal gangs,” said Yu Chong, Chief Representative of WildAid China, “This PSA is also spread on social networks to educate public the existing laws that prohibit the trade and shipping of protected wildlife in order to deter consumers from future purchases.”
Our billboard in the popular Chongqing square
Over its first four weeks, the campaign covered 49 cities in China and got estimated 200 million views. The PSA and billboards are also displayed on three well-known shipping companies’ courier scooters, boxes, sheets and electronic screens on courier lockers.
This is the second time that Huang Xuan joined WildAid’s campaign to combat the illegal trade of wildlife, as he also starred in our 2019 Customs Ivory campaign targeting travelers. “It’s a meaningful thing to join the campaign to protect endangered wildlife and biodiversity. I am honored to be involved and will continue to contribute in the future.” Said Huang Xuan.
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WildAid is a non-profit organization with a mission to protect wildlife from illegal trade and other imminent threats. While most wildlife conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching, WildAid primarily works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products such as elephant ivory, rhino horn and shark fin soup. With an unrivaled portfolio of celebrity ambassadors and a global network of media partners, WildAid leverages more than $308 million in annual pro-bono media support with a simple message: When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too.
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