MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on ‘panda diplomacy’ and regulating panda loans between China and zoos in the European Union
Motion for a European Parliament resolution on ‘panda diplomacy’ and regulating panda loans between China and zoos in the European Union
The European Parliament,
– having regard to Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,
– having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 of 9 December 1996 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade therein,
– having regard to Rule 133 of its Rules of Procedure,
A. whereas panda loans, which cost approximately EUR 700 000, are generally unprofitable, as shown by the net loss of USD 33 million made by a group of US zoos between 2000 and 2003, and whereas China is thought not to be honouring its commitment to allocate 70% of the fees to finance research, with probable cases of the misappropriation of those funds being reported in the Financial Times on 3 November 2017;
B. whereas under the terms of the loans the pandas must be returned to China, where conditions in ‘research centres’ have come in for criticism (see Henry Nicholls and Kati Loeffler) and the mistreatment of animals has been documented in a video shot on 12 July 2017;
C. whereas some scientists have spoken out against the keeping of some 510 pandas in these centres, whereas a 2015 survey put the wild panda population at 1864, and whereas the Chinese are exerting pressure with a view to having the 2016 change in the status of the species from ‘endangered’ to ‘vulnerable’ reversed;
1. Urges the Commission and the Member States to:
a) introduce more stringent regulation of panda loans, particularly as regards financial transparency and balance;
b) give priority to balanced conservation programmes that aim to reintroduce animals into the wild.
-  OJ L 61, 3.3.1997, p. 1.