UN agency praises China for wide-ranging fight against illegal wildlife trade

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Mr John E. Scanlon, CITES Secretary-General, presenting a Certificate of Commendation to Ms Yin Hong, Vice Aministrator of State Forestry Administration

China's efforts to combat the illegal trade in wildlife have been praised by a UN agency which protects endangered species.

The country has been awarded a Certificate of Commendation by (CITES), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife and Fauna, in recognition of two nation-wide law enforcement operations carried out earlier this year.

Charles Appel reports.

CITES Chief John Scanlon commended the Chinese government for the sheer scale of the exercise, and its level of success.

More than 100,000 enforcement officers were mobilized in the two operations which were conducted by the Forest Police and the Customs Authorities.

As a result, more than 700 cases of illegal wildlife trade were uncovered and nearly 8,000 stalls, shops and websites were shut down.

More than 130, 000 wild animals and wildlife products, and close to 150 animal skins, were confiscated.

Customs officials also seized thousands of kilogrammes in ivory, red sandalwood and timber, in addition to over 870 saiga antelope horns.

Thirteen suspects were arrested.

Charles Appel, UN Radio.

Duration:  52″

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