Pledge on illegal animal trade

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 June, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 June, 1997, 12:00am

Controls to stop trade in endangered species will be strengthened after the handover.

Officials from the Agriculture and Fisheries Department met counterparts from China's Ministry of Forestry in Beijing last month and discussed how to fight the illicit business.

After the handover, the border between Hong Kong and China will cease to be international and therefore global agreements regulating trade in endangered species will no longer apply.

Conservationists have warned that a flood of endangered species and their parts could be moved over the border as a result and with no legal recourse.

Acting Deputy Director of Agriculture and Fisheries Frank Lau Sin-pang said Hong Kong and China had discussed their concerns about trade in endangered species informally at international forums.

Last month's meeting in Beijing was an official discussion which agreed to step up controls.

'Hong Kong will maintain its own Customs identity and our own legislation will be in place,' he said.

'We will continue what we do and also enhance our links with them so cross-border enforcement will be enhanced.' The Animals and Plants Protection of Endangered Species Ordinance would also undergo a major review, he said.