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How Hong Kong can snap the jaws shut on wildlife trafficking

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Perhaps it is because I am a six-time grandfather already, and expect to add to that score when my two teenage children marry. Or perhaps it is because a friend recently asked me to be godfather to his baby daughter who, with an average lifespan, can expect to live well into the next century. Either way, I have begun to give more thought to the kind of world we will bequeath to future generations.

I think we are all familiar – some American friends, such as US President Donald Trump, excluded – with the science on climate change, so I won’t dwell on it. We are also familiar with the horror of plastic starting to clog our oceans and enter the piscatorial food chain.

But one aspect I had not really focused on up to now was what humankind has done, and is doing, to the other species that share our world. No one could read Yuval Noah Harari’s bestselling book, Sapiens, without coming away with a deep sense of unease about the way we factory farm chickens, cows and other creatures on an industrial scale to feed humans without regard to the animals’ own circumstances. Our bellies are full of tender beef, but the calf never meets its mother. One doesn’t need to be of a particularly religious bent to wonder at the ethical propriety of this.

And so to the RTHK radio discussion last week of Hong Kong’s role in wildlife trafficking. Our customs officers recently seized more than........

© South China Morning Post