The Chinese government recently imposed a crackdown on wildlife trade, earning a positive response from animal rights groups and the general public as well.
However, the move had an untoward effect on animals which were already being raised for food or traditional Chinese medicine, reports Shanghaiist.
When Chinese authorities froze the trade of all wild animals amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, it resulted in the death of almost 6,000 kilograms (about 6 tons) of bamboo rats, porcupines and snakes.
A new list of animals that could be categorized as livestock was released last month and those that did not make the cut were disposed of in a pit outside the Hubei city of Xianning. The list did not include porcupines, snakes, civets, and bamboo rats.
A video of the mass disposal of the bamboo rats emerged online, showing workers throwing buckets after buckets of bamboo rats into the pit. They then covered the still live animals in lime before burying them with soil.
Prior to the ban, some local government units in rural parts of the country have reportedly been encouraging the breeding of bamboo rats for food. These impoverished locales even provide loans and other support for the rodent farmers.
Local authorities were reportedly tasked with getting rid of the animals in a manner that is supposed to be “environmentally-safe,” if not “humane.”
Feature Image via 黄家驹