Po­lice keep pres­sure on wildlife traf­fick­ers

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By ZHENG CAIXIONG in Guangzhou zheng­caix­iong@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

Forestry po­lice across Guang­dong prov­ince seized 11,720 wild an­i­mals, plus 960 kilo­grams of wildlife prod­ucts, in a spe­cial cam­paign car­ried out be­tween March and June.

More than 50 sus­pects have been de­tained in 40 cases in­volv­ing the il­le­gal slaugh­ter and traf­fick­ing of wildlife in the cam­paign, which is called Sen­wang 2017.

Li Wen­jiang, deputy di­rec­tor of the Forestry Po­lice Bureau of the Guang­dong Depart­ment of Public Se­cu­rity, said the cases that arose dur­ing the op­er­a­tion were es­ti­mated to have in­volved prod­ucts with a street value of more than 7.5 mil­lion yuan ($1.1 mil­lion).

“The wildlife that was seized in­cludes pythons, lizards, gib­bons, macaques, boas, horn­bills, tur­tles, pan­golins and other wild an­i­mals that are un­der strict State pro­tec­tion,” Li said at a news con­fer­ence in Guangzhou on Mon­day.

The Guang­dong po­lice or­ga­nized a spe­cial task force to fo­cus on in­ves­ti­ga­tions af­ter on­line videos ap­peared at the be­gin­ning of the year in which an­i­mals were shown be­ing slaugh­tered, sold and cooked in the south­ern Chi- nese prov­ince, known for its wildlife cui­sine.

“Sen­wang 2017, which was launched at the right time af­ter months of in­ves­ti­ga­tion, has dealt a heavy blow to those in­volved in slaugh­ter­ing and traf­fick­ing wildlife in the prov­ince,” Li said, adding that po­lice will not lower their vig­i­lance.

Li hinted that more spe­cial op­er­a­tions may be com­ing — in co­op­er­a­tion with var­i­ous sec­tors, in­clud­ing trans­porta­tion, in­dus­try, com­merce, postal ser­vice and lo­gis­tics — to fight the traf­fick­ing of pro­tected wildlife at ev­ery link.

Dai Zili, a se­nior public se­cu­rity of­fi­cer in the prov­ince, said the Guang­dong po­lice will con­tinue to spare no ef­fort to in­ves­ti­gate any on­line videos and mes­sages re­lated to the slaugh­ter and traf­fick­ing of wildlife, as well as on­line ads to at­tract those who con­sume such wildlife.

“Po­lice in­ves­ti­gated 5,380 on­line mes­sages and closed a num­ber of web­sites and fo­rums that pro­mote wildlife cui­sine dur­ing Sen­wang 2017,” Dai said.

Chen We­ican, a Guangzhou white col­lar worker, said it is a dif­fi­cult long-term task for po­lice, as lo­cal res­i­dents have a long his­tory of us­ing such meat in food be­cause it is thought to pro­vide spe­cial nour­ish­ment.

More ef­fec­tive and con­crete mea­sures should be in­tro­duced, he said.

GE CHUANHONG / FOR CHINA DAILY

A fire broke out on a truck car­ry­ing re­frig­er­a­tors on Mon­day af­ter­noon in He­fei, An­hui prov­ince, de­stroy­ing the en­tire load and dam­ag­ing two nearby trucks and an en­gi­neer­ing ve­hi­cle. No in­juries were re­ported.

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