Post Magazine

Chinese police pounce on 'hunter' over illegal toad haul

A man found with more than 80 wild toads in eastern China could face a prison term of up to three years if convicted of illegal hunting.

The man, identified only by his surname Zhang, was detained after police found the live toads in a plastic bucket he was carrying in Pizhou, Jiangsu province, on Christmas Day, according to the official microblog of the city's police department.

"I didn't know that catching toads is illegal," Zhang was quoted as saying.

While toads are not classified as rare or endangered animals in China, they are listed as "three-value species" of commercial, research and environmental value to the country.

Hunting more than 20 of any of these animals constitutes a crime, while anybody found with more than 50 of them risks a prison sentence, according to the criminal law.

More than 1,700 species have been added to the category since the State Forestry and Grassland Administration started listing them in 2000, and the tally includes sparrows, frogs, wall lizards, hares, pheasants and snakes.

Anybody wanting to hunt the listed animals must have a licence and abide by quotas.

In 2017, a farmer in Zhejiang province was reported to police for capturing 114 toads. The farmer had killed all but five of them and planned to cook them for dinner. Many internet commenters were surprised that hunting toads was illegal.

In 2013, a man was detained for six months and later given a one-year suspended sentence for illegally hunting 300 sparrows.

This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

Copyright (c) 2019. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

More from Post Magazine

Post Magazine4 min readPolitics
China's Military Pulls Back From Joint War Games To Focus On Training At Home
The PLA took part in fewer joint exercises in 2018 as it focused on training at home, though it has been ramping up military diplomacy activities in recent years as it tries to expand its influence abroad. Analysts said while Beijing was still keen t
Post Magazine4 min readPolitics
China Watchers In US Debate 'Strategic Competitor' Label Donald Trump Has Pinned On Beijing
Prominent China policy analysts clashed on Tuesday in New York over Washington's portrayal of the country as a strategic competitor, a designation that has defined US President Donald Trump's hard-line approach to Beijing since he started a bilateral
Post Magazine1 min read
Hong Kong Cab Driver Dies After Crashing Into Barrier On West Kowloon Corridor
A Hong Kong cab driver died on Wednesday night after crashing into a traffic barrier on the West Kowloon Corridor near Cheung Sha Wan. Two female passengers in the taxi escaped uninjured, according to local media. Police said the force received a rep