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London wildlife summit moves to choke off illegal markets

Published on Feb 14, 2014 4:33 AM

LONDON (AFP) - More than 40 countries including China and African states signed a declaration Thursday aimed at stamping out the illegal trade in wildlife, in a move broadly welcomed by conservation groups.

The London Declaration urges practical steps to end the illegal trade in rhino horn, tiger parts and elephant tusks that contributes to criminal activity worth more than US$19 billion (S$24 billion) each year.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who hosted the meeting, said: "I believe the measures we have agreed can mark a crucial turning point." Mr Hague highlighted the attendance of China and Vietnam, two major consumers of the banned products. Beijing sent Forestry Vice Minister Zhang Jianlong.

"I do welcome the involvement of China (and) the constructive approach from their minister and from other Asian countries, but there will be more work to do," Mr Hague said.

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