France to beef up fines, seizures in ivory trade
PARIS (AFP) - President Francois Hollande said Thursday France would increase fines for illegal trading in ivory and endangered animal species.
Speaking at a round table on poaching that gathered French and African leaders, Mr Hollande said he had asked Justice Minister Christiane Taubira to ramp up action against trafficking in imperilled species and animal parts.
Police and customs officials will be directed to step up surveillance, he said.
Purchasing illegal ivory "has to be an act that is clearly punishable," Mr Hollande said.