International wildlife groups have applauded the introduction of new mainland regulations on the commercial trade in endangered species, saying they hope the rules will help crack down on the illicit trade in tiger products.
Coming into effect today, the regulations ban the commercial import and export of endangered species, but allows exemptions in the interests of scientific research, 'domestication and reproduction', artificial reproduction to preserve the species, and cultural exchange.
A State Forestry Administration official said yesterday the regulations were the realisation of a convention Beijing signed in 1981.
At a seminar yesterday, six international conservation groups commended the new regulations, but said authorities needed to better implement existing wildlife protection rules, particularly in the case of tiger products.
He Yong , from the International Fund for Animal Welfare, said a 1993 ban prohibited all trade in tiger parts and derivatives, but the trade appeared to be flourishing.
Last month Zhang Kejia from the China Youth Daily reported that tiger bone wine sales were booming in Guangxi .
Addressing the seminar, Zhang said the industry earned tens of millions of yuan each year from selling about 200,000 bottles of tiger bone wine, a process that involves steeping tiger skeletons in the beverage.