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China tightens control over exporting livestock, poultry genetic resources
Updated: 2008-09-05 00:04

BEIJING - China has moved to tighten the control over the export of genetic resources of livestock and poultry with the promulgation of a new ordinance that will take effect on October 1.

The government will ban the export of genetic resources of newly-discovered, unidentified livestock and poultry breeds that are unique to the country, according to the ordinance signed by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on August 28.

It will be unlawful to cooperate with overseas institutions or individuals in studying and utilizing those resources forbidden to be exported, said the ordinance.

No agencies or individuals will be allowed to transfer the information of the country's livestock and poultry genetic resources to overseas agencies or individuals without government permission.

Besides, breed resources listed under national protection must not be carried abroad if it threatens Chinese animal husbandry production and exports.

The move was to "protect and make proper use of the genetic resources of livestock and poultry, prevent them from flowing off and boost the sustainable, healthy development of animal husbandry," said the ordinance.

The ordinance also stipulated the introduction of such resources into the country must make no threats to the safety of domestic breeds and ecological environment, with their source regions free of epidemics and their use clearly stated.

China boasts 576 breeds of livestock and poultry, about a sixth of the world's total. In the past two decades, at least 10 varieties disappeared, with more than 20 on verge of extinction and over 100 breeds seeing a sharp drop in number.

China's animal husbandry posted an output of more than 1.3 trillion yuan (US$190 billion) in 2005, accounting for 35 percent of the total agricultural production.