From: Reuters
Published July 31, 2006 12:00 AM

Global Illegal Wildlife Trade Worth $10 Billion

BEIJING — The global illegal trade in wild animals and plants has exceeded $10 billion a year, becoming the world's third-largest source of illicit income after drugs and guns, a wildlife conference heard on Friday.

Illegal wildlife trade threatens species' survival and leads to ecological damage, said a statement sent by the Beijing office of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).

The closed-door conference, organised by China's Ministry of Public Security, Forestry Bureau and Interpol, ended in Beijing on Thursday.

Poachers and smugglers of endangered species can be fined and jailed for more than 10 years in China, but protected plants, furs and other animal body parts are sold in many Chinese cities and rural areas.

China police detained a man for trying to sell the fur of a young panda for about $30,000, state media reported on Monday.

Source: Reuters

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