China permits limited trade of rhino, tiger goods

China prohibited the trade of rhino horn and tiger bones in 1993 but a black market has flourished, with many products entering the country through Vietnam, according to an investigation conducted last year by the Elephant Action League conservation group.

Wildlife conservationists worry that allowing a limited trade of rhino and tiger goods will spur overall demand for related products, while efforts to crack down on wildlife contraband will be hindered.

“Not only could this lead to the risk of legal trade providing cover to illegal trade, this policy will also stimulate demand that had otherwise declined since the ban was put in place,” Margaret Kinnaird, the World Wildlife Fund’s wildlife practice leader, said in a statement.

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