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£21k to Shoot a Yak

August 9, 2006

Yak” China is to auction licences for foreigners to hunt wild animals, including endangered species, according to local media.

The auction will offer the right to hunt yaks, wolves and other wild animals in five western provinces.

The price of a licence will depend on the type and number of animals to be hunted, the Beijing Youth Daily said.

A licence to hunt a wolf could go for about $200 (£105), while permission to shoot a yak could be as much as $40,000 (£21,000), the daily said. Shooting an argali, a large wild sheep, will cost about $10,000 (£5,000) while a blue sheep will cost $2,500 (£1,300), the paper said.

‘Some animals are from the first and second category of national wildlife protection, but with the strict limitations in place, the hunting could not destroy wild animal populations,’ the daily said.

Proceeds from the auction would be used to protect wild animals, the daily said. ”

What organisations such as the WWF think of the proposals remains to be heard, but I expect they are pleased at the attempts to raise money to protect endangered species, but a bit dubious about the methods involved.

While presented as a win-win situation with benefits for wildlife and tourism, it assumes that the money raised from the auctions will actually get put back into wildlife protection. Without trying to sound like a sceptical mistrusting Westerner, what are the chances of the full £21,000 worth of yak killing fun getting used as it was intended?

About as likely as me paying £21k to shoot a yak.

~ TranceFixed

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