監管失靈曝中國活體貿易「假合法、真走私」真相 非政府組織:CITES形同虛設 | 環境資訊中心

監管失靈曝中國活體貿易「假合法、真走私」真相 非政府組織:CITES形同虛設

「南非與中國間可恥的野生動物貿易」報告解讀(1)

2020年06月02日
環境資訊中心外電;姜唯 翻譯;林大利 審校;稿源:ENS

南非的兩個非政府組織「EMS基金會」和「禁止動物貿易(Ban Animal Trading)」揭露,黑猩猩、孟加拉虎、狼、非洲野犬和獅子等數千種瀕臨滅絕的野生動物從南非銷往中國,時而違反瀕危物種貿易公約(Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species﹐CITES)。

他們的報告「南非與中國間可恥的野生動物貿易(Breaking Point: Uncovering South Africa’s Shameful Wildlife Trade With China)」直指,相關法規和審核流程毫無作用、動物福利和自然保護原則遭到忽視,並提供確切犯罪證據。

數千種瀕臨滅絕的野生動物從南非銷往中國,時而違反瀕危物種貿易公約。圖為環尾狐猴。照片來源:維基百科/Keven Law(CC BY-SA 2.0)

賭上全球公共衛生

調查報告顯示,從2015年到2019年,至少有5035種野生動物從南非合法出口到中國。

這是「極為保守的估計」,都是調查員親自走訪位於中國的交貨地,檢查數百份得來不易的出口許可證後統計出來的。

出口的動物種類繁多,有大旋角羚、長頸鹿、黑猩猩、黑腳企鵝、狼、環尾狐猴和45隻以上的孟加拉虎。

在國際市場交易活體野生動物,大幅增加未來再次爆發武漢肺炎(COVID-19)這種人畜共通傳染病的風險。

在武漢肺炎的案例中,有科學證據顯示,中國傳統市場銷售的瀕危馬來穿山甲正是蝙蝠與人類之間的中間宿主。

2014年,全球一年出口的動物估計約為1億隻。光是在中國,野生動物的貿易和消費(其中大部分是非法、不受管制的)價值高達5200億元人民幣(約新台幣2兆2115億元)。

從2015年到2019年,至少有5035種野生動物從南非合法出口到中國。報告截圖。

每年野生動植物貿易導致「野生動植物、人類和家畜之間直接和間接接觸次數是10億的倍數」,是重大的公共衛生問題,數學模型也證實未來人畜共通傳染病爆發的可能性急劇升高。

價值數十億南非幣的活體野生動物出口生意,不僅是南非當地工人有感染已知或未知疾病的危險,更促使該產業的合法化,近一步讓全世界的人們處於傳染病及其連帶經濟混亂的風險中。

更令人驚訝的是,報告指出,就連中國武漢肺炎的高峰時期,南非仍在持續出口中。

監管不善的貿易

該報告所描述的所有野生動物貿易據悉都是合法的,至少其中一些應受到CITES法規體系的監控。

然而,調查員在檢查數百件南非出口許可證時,發現許多件根本是隨意應付CITES法規,甚至完全不予理會,包括日期不正確、未註明日期、未簽名,或動物編號、年齡和原產地錯誤的許可證,更有無法追溯或虛構的目的地地址,以及被當作合法貨物出口的非法貨物。

整個系統似乎對貿易商的審查非常鬆散,不管是出口商和進口商,有些人過去曾涉入非法野生動植物販運或與犯罪走私集團有關。

其中一個案例是,2019年有18隻黑猩猩合法從哈特比斯普特大壩蛇與動物公園(Hartebeespoort Dam Snake and Animal Park)出口到北京野生動物園,但哈特比斯普特大壩蛇與動物公園並不是CITES註冊黑猩猩繁殖設施。

根據調查員的說法,許可文件中並沒有依照CITES要求附上證據證明黑猩猩(CITES附錄I瀕危物種)是由賣方合法取得或人工飼養,而不是從野外捕捉進而圈養的。沒有這些關鍵資料,根本不應該有許可證。

在另一個案例中,2018年有10頭獵豹(也是附錄I物種)出售給中國鄭州動物園,但許可證不但沒簽名,還是出口以後才發的,已經違反CITES的規定。

調查期間內有1394隻狐獴進入中國,1154隻的目的地不詳。報告截圖。

2014年至2019年之間至少有2465隻非CITES附錄動物被賣到中國,受到的管制更少,來源或目的地多半不明。

其中包括非洲野犬,有35隻在2018年和2019年被賣到中國,但牠們在南非屬於瀕危物種,並且被列入世界自然保育聯盟紅皮書中。

調查期間內有1394隻狐獴進入中國,1154隻的目的地不詳。根據記錄有321頭長頸鹿賣給濟南野生動物世界,但實際走訪該動物園卻發現只有16頭,其他的長頸鹿下落不明。

該報告稱,「大多數許可證違反了CITES法規,並包含一項或多項虛假、含糊或可疑的聲明。」作者認為絕大多數根本不該放行。

「CITES的形式主義……創造了控制良好、合規、有效率和經過檢驗的錯覺。」實際上卻是漏洞百出,不管在南非或中國,實施、監督或執行上都極度不透明。

這個體系非但沒有保護個別動物、瀕危物種或人類的健康,而是把從野外捕獲的動物洗成合法貿易,刺激中國市場的需求。

South Africa's Live Wild Animal Trade to China Exposed
CAPE TOWN, South Africa, May 26, 2020(ENS)

Chimpanzees, Bengal tigers, wolves, wild dogs and lions are among thousands of endangered wild animals exported from South Africa to China, sometimes in contravention of regulations imposed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), often in shameful conditions.

The findings of the report, “Breaking Point: Uncovering South Africa’s Shameful Wildlife Trade With China,” provide damning evidence of dysfunctional regulations and permitting procedures, criminality and greed alongside a deep neglect of animal welfare concerns and nature conservation principles.

Gambling With Global Health

The hard-hitting investigative report published by two South African organisations, the EMS Foundation and Ban Animal Trading, shows that between 2015 and 2019, at least 5,035 live wild animals were legally exported from South Africa to China.

This “extremely conservative estimate” is based on the painstaking inspection of hundreds of export permits, which are often difficult to obtain, and on in-person visits to the destinations in China to which the animals were supposedly delivered.

The list of animals exported comprises an array of species ranging from the kudu and giraffe to chimpanzees, African penguins, wolves, ring-tailed lemurs and no fewer than 45 Bengal tigers.

Trading living wild animals on international markets considerably increases the risk of future outbreaks of zoonotic illnesses like COVID-19.

n the case of COVID-19, there is scientific evidence to suggest that highly-trafficked and endangered Malayan pangolins sold in Chinese wet markets acted as an intermediary link between virus-hosting bats and humans.

Globally, exports were estimated at some 100 million animals per year in 2014. In China, alone, the trade and consumption of wild animals – much of it illegal and most of it unregulated – is valued at a staggering 520 billion yuan (US$74 billion).

It should come as no surprise then, that the “multiple of one billion direct and indirect contacts among wildlife, humans, and domestic animals” resulting from the wildlife trade annually, represents a major public health problem and that mathematical models confirm the dramatic increase in the probability of future zoonotic disease outbreaks.

As a major exporter of live wild animals, South Africa’s considerable contribution to this multi-billion rand business not only potentially exposes local workers to diseases – known or as yet undiscovered – but it also helps to legitimise an industry that puts people around the globe at risk of deadly pandemics and the economic mayhem they trigger.

Astonishingly, the report notes that South African exports continued even at the time when China reached its peak of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Poorly Regulated Trade

All of the trade in wild animals described in the report is supposedly legal. At least some of it is meant to be monitored and controlled through a system of regulations under CITES.

In inspecting hundreds of South African export permits, however, the authors have documented numerous instances in which the CITES regulations were treated casually at best and disregarded entirely at worst.

Examples include incorrectly dated, undated and unsigned permits, permits listing incorrect numbers, ages and places of origin for the animals involved, as well as permits giving untraceable or fictitious destination addresses in China and illegal shipments, masked as legitimate exports.

There appears to be little vetting of traders – both exporters and importers – some of which have in the past been implicated in illicit wildlife trafficking themselves or been associated with criminal smuggling syndicates.

In an illustrative case, 18 chimpanzees were legally exported from the Hartebeespoort Dam Snake and Animal Park – not a CITES-registered chimpanzee breeding facility – to the Beijing Wild Animal Park in 2019.

According to the researchers, the permit documents include no evidence to confirm that the chimpanzees, a species listed on CITES’ Appendix I, indicating its status as threatened with extinction, were either legally acquired by the seller or bred in captivity rather than caught in the wild as is required by CITES regulations. In the absence of this crucial information, a permit should never have been issued.

In another instance, the unsigned import permit for 10 cheetahs, also an Appendix I species, sold to China’s Zhengzhou Zoo in 2018, was only issued after the export permit was issued, in violation of CITES regulations.

In the case of animals that don’t appear on any CITES Appendix, of which there were at least 2,465 between 2014 and 2019, trade is even less regulated, with their origin or destination frequently unknown.

This includes African Wild Dogs, 35 of which went to China in 2018 and 2019, even though they are classified as endangered in South Africa and included on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s authoritative Red List.

Of the 1,394 meerkats exported during the period investigated, the destination of 1,154 is unknown. While 321 giraffes were sold to Jinan Wildlife World, a visit to this zoo found only 16 individuals present with the whereabouts of the others unknown.

According to the report, “the majority of the permits were in breach of CITES regulations, and contained one or more false, vague or questionable declarations.” The authors conclude that in most cases “the exports that have been permitted should never have been allowed to take place.”

While “the ‘box-ticking exercise’ that defines CITES … creates the illusion of a well-controlled system of compliance, efficiency and verification and therefore protection,” the distressing picture that emerges is one of an extremely lucrative trade riddled with frequently exploited regulatory gaps and loopholes along with rules that are scandalously lacking in transparency, implementation, oversight or enforcement on either the South African or Chinese side.

Instead of offering protection for individual animals, endangered species and human health, this system facilitates illegal trafficking by providing a front for laundering animals caught in the wild into the nominally legal trade and stimulating demand for them in Chinese markets.

※ 全文及圖片詳見:ENS

作者

姜唯

如果有一件事是重要的,如果能為孩子實現一個願望,那就是人類與大自然和諧共存。

林大利

於特有生物研究保育中心服務,小鳥和棲地是主要的研究對象。是龜毛的讀者,認為龜毛是探索世界的美德。