CBCGDF Filed the First Environmental Public Interest Litigation (EPIL) for Pangolin Protection
2023/6/21 17:21:00 本站

On September 14, 2018, China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) filed an Environmental Public Interest Litigation (EPIL) against the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Terrestrial Wildlife Rescue and Epidemic Disease Detection Center (hereinafter referred to as the Guangxi Wildlife Rescue Center) for the death of 32 rescued pangolins under their care.

The case was filed with the Nanning Intermediate Court. It is the first public interest litigation case caused by the death of pangolins in China, and is also the first environmental public interest litigation case accepted by the court.

In April 2019, the case was selected as the eighth Top Ten Public Interest Litigation in China by the Case Law Institute of China Law Society, the Litigation Law Research Society of China University of Political Science and Law, and the Legal Weekly. It is the first public interest litigation on the rescue and protection of pangolins. In the face of the increasingly serious illegal smuggling of pangolins in China, it is of great significance.

【Origin:32 rescued pangolin all died in 2+ months after sending to the Rescue Center】

On August 17, 2017, the Guangxi Forestry Department received a report from the Guangxi Qinzhou Forestry Bureau that the Maritime Police was to hand over to the Guangxi Forestry Department a number of pangolins that had been smuggled into China. The Guangxi Wildlife Rescue Center was identified as the entity that would receive and care for them.

After on-site counting, Guangxi Wildlife Rescue Center confirmed that 34 pangolins were rescued, including 32 living and 2 dead. In the early morning of August 18, 2017, Guangxi Wildlife Rescue Center transported the live pangolins to their rescue and quarantine facility for treatment.

After the rescued pangolins were examined at the facility, 10 pangolins were characterized as showing “no significant trauma” while 8 were characterized as “emaciated, no significant trauma” by Center staff.

According to the Guangxi Forestry Department, up until August 29, 2017, all 32 pangolins were alive but on August 30, 2017, two pangolins died. By October 22, 2017, all 32 rescued pangolins were dead. In terms of survival time, the shortest survived 13 days and the longest survived 66 days in the Rescue Center.

【Why EPIL】

CBCGDF asserted in its lawsuit that the Guangxi Wildlife Rescue Center violated laws and regulations, and failed to perform its duties for the pangolins under its care.  

According to CBCGDF’s investigation, the causes of death of the 32 pangolins included ascites (bacterial infection death due to stress), internal hemorrhage, pneumonia, intestinal bleeding, enteritis, and hepatitis. None of the 32 pangolins died of high pathogenic virus infection and no animal infectious disease or epidemic disease was found.

In addition, the Guangxi Forestry Department had promised: “At the end of the quarantine period and after the quarantine qualified, under the guidance of the State Forestry Bureau, the surviving pangolins will be wild-released to appropriate places in China.” The Guangxi Forestry Department and its Wildlife Rescue Center failed to do so, even after environmental protection organizations offered to help with their promised wildl-release. By September 17th, only eight of the rescued pangolins survived.

September 2018, CBCGDF filed an environmental public interest litigation (EPIL) lawsuit with the Nanning Intermediate People’s Court, that the Guangxi Terrestrial Wildlife Rescue and Epidemic Disease Detection Center (hereinafter referred to as "Rescue Center") did not fully implement the rescuing on the received seized pangolins, that led to the death of all the pangolins. The lawsuit used the Rescue Center as the defendant, and its direct superior unit, the Department of Forestry of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, is the third party. On January 11, 2019, after correcting the complaint filed, CBCGDF finally obtained the notice of acceptance of the case of the Nanning Intermediate People’s Court of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. This means that the first domestic public interest litigation on pangolins, which lasted for four months, was officially approved.

Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Terrestrial Wildlife Rescue Research and Epidemic Disease Monitoring Center received a batch of pangolins (32 live and 2 dead) smuggled into the country at 1 am on August 18, 2017, and brought them back to the base rescue quarantine field for treatment. After a 30-day quarantine period, 24 pangolins died. As of September 17, 2017, there were still eight pangolins alive, and the monitoring center violated relevant regulations and did not submit a release plan to the Forestry Bureau of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region for approval, resulting in the death of eight pangolins that had expired and passed quarantine, causing ecological losses. To this end, a lawsuit was filed with the court, requesting the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Land Wildlife Rescue Research and Epidemic Disease Monitoring Center to compensate for the ecological loss caused by the death of eight quarantine qualified pangolins, and to apologize to the public on the national media for the ecological damage caused by its wrong behavior.

Checked by Richard
Editor: YJ
Contact: v10@cbcgdf.org; +8617319454776


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