Around 200 kg of ivory products were seized in April in Beijing's markets as part of a strategic crack-down on the illegal wildlife trade in China.
The targeting of Beijing's markets-traditionally points of sale for antiques, flowers and pets and popular with collectors including tourists an local residents-was part of a nationwide operation code-named Skynet.
Skynet's seizures in Beijing also included 64 live animals, (snakes, chameleons and a Slow Loris), 65 snake eggs, 160 cubic metres of illegal timber products, Hawksbill turtleshell items, rhino horn and a Snow Leopard skin. A total of 8 traders were arrested and 21 individuals detained.
Initiated by the National Forest Police, Skynet was designed to protect further the country's wildlife and fulfill China's obligations to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
"The investigations and seizures in Beijing and elsewhere in the country are a positive demonstration of the seriousness of China's strengthened commitment to fighting illegal wildlife trade, including the international priority of combating illegal ivory trade," said Dr Jianbin Shi, Head of TRAFFIC in China.
"TRAFFIC is delighted to see this progress made by the central and local Forest Police. Beijing Forest Police has now set the standard and we look forward to seeing similar approaches used elsewhere in China."
TRAFFIC is a long-term partner of the Beijing Forest Police and provides objective market research results to the agency on a regular basis and also helps train officers on the dynamics and significance of illegal wildlife trade in China, including species identification and market monitoring techniques. The most recent training event took place in April, prior to Skynet. More....