A man was sentenced by Tsuen Wan Magistracy today to three-months' jail for the illegal import of endangered species and cruelty to animals.
Customs officers seized 335 black pond turtles from the man at Hong Kong airport when he arrived from Thailand on October 1, and referred the case to the Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department for prosecution.
The turtle is listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna & Flora. It has a restricted range of distribution in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan.
Of the turtles seized, about 330 are still alive at Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden, where they are being kept temporarily under close observation and veterinary care. The department will later explore suitable placement options in accordance with international conservation guidelines.