Monday, July 5, 2021

Amanda Whitfort on New Bill Seeks to End Hong Kong’s Days as an Illegal Wildlife Trade Hub (Mongabay)

"New bill seeks to end Hong Kong’s days as an illegal wildlife trade hub"
Published on 26 May 2021
In 2019, Hong Kong customs authorities inspected a cargo ship bound for Vietnam. Hidden beneath slabs of frozen meat were 8.3 metric tons of illegal scales from about 13,800 pangolins, and more than 2.1 metric tons of tusks from about 200 elephants, with a combined value of about $8 million.
     This was one of the largest wildlife seizures in Hong Kong history, but far from an isolated incident. In 2018 and 2019, Hong Kong authorities confiscated more than 649 metric tons of illegal wildlife and wildlife products across 1,404 seizures, according to a new report by Hong Kong’s ADM Capital Foundation (ADMCF). Wildlife crime is so rampant in Hong Kong ... “We’ve come to the view that this must be because we’re targeting the wrong people,” Amanda Whitfort, a barrister and law professor at the University of Hong Kong who drafted the new bill, told Mongabay in an interview. “We’re targeting the mules, the people that are replaceable, the people who’ve got 50 kilos … of rhino horn or scales of pangolins in their luggage. But we’re not getting the criminal syndicates that are behind this very lucrative transnational crime.” ... Click here to read the full text. 

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