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New ordinance in force to protect endangered species

    The Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, Cap. 586, comes into force today (December 1), regulating the import, export, re-export or possession of endangered species by a licensing system.
     A spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said the new ordinance replaced the Animals and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species) Ordinance, ensuring full compliance of Hong Kong's control regime with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

     "Under the repealed ordinance, control of international trade in medicines made from endangered species did not fully meet the CITES requirements," the spokesman explained.

     More endangered species are put on the protection list under the new ordinance, including humphead wrasse, certain freshwater turtles and agarwood, in line with the latest changes in the CITES lists of controlled species.

     The Government has also taken the opportunity to streamline the existing licensing system and simplify the fee structure.    

     "Generally speaking, existing and potential licence holders will find themselves paying less under the new system," the spokesman said.

     For details of the new ordinance, the public can call the Government hotline at 1823 or visit the related website at

Ends/Friday, December 1, 2006
Issued at HKT 11:04