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Hillary Clinton slams wildlife trafficking

Published on Nov 9, 2012 7:14 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - United States (US) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Thursday for a stepped up fight against poaching, warning against criminal gangs seeking to satisfy growing demand for ivory and rhino horn.

"Over the past few years wildlife trafficking has become more organized, more lucrative, more widespread, and more dangerous than ever before," the top US diplomat told a meeting at the State Department.

Despite progress over the past three to four decades to clamp down on poaching, growing wealth meant demand was on the rise again.

"As the middle class grows, which we all welcome and support, in many nations items like ivory or rhinoceros horn become symbols of wealth and social status," Ms Clinton said, urging all governments to join the Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking.

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