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Environmentalists hail China's banquet ban on shark fin

Published on Dec 9, 2013 3:14 PM

BEIJING (AFP) - Environmentalists hailed on Monday a Chinese government ban on serving shark's fin, bird's nest soup and other wild animal products at official functions, saying it will set a precedent that will help protect endangered species.

China's ruling Communist Party announced the ban as part of a sweeping government crackdown on corruption, excessive spending and extravagance.

An official notice from the party's Central Committee and the State Council, China's cabinet, released on Sunday "ruled out dishes containing shark fins, bird nests and wild animal products in official reception dinners".

"I think it is great. I think it is extremely important for a whole bunch of reasons," said Matthew Durnin, a former director of science at the Nature Conservancy, who has spent 20 years in China working on projects concerning endangered species.

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