In Depth: China’s Relaxation of Penalties for Wildlife Breeding Raises Concerns
Wang Lei served over 200 days behind bars after he was prosecuted in 2020 for owning 14 artificially bred Hermann’s tortoises, an endangered species. He was set to serve another two years — until a notice from the country’s top court caused the local procuratorate to withdraw the charges.
Wang, a farmer in Yucheng, Shandong province, had purchased the captive-bred Hermann tortoises in 2018. Following his arrest two years later, Wang was initially sentenced to three years in prison and fined 40,000 yuan ($5,980) by a court in the city for illegally purchasing rare and endangered wildlife under national protection.
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