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Illegal import of dried seahorses seized by AFCD (with photos)

     The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) mounted a joint operation with the Customs and Excise Department against illegal import of endangered species at the Air Mail Centre of Hong Kong International Airport last night (November 11).

     With the assistance of a quarantine detector dog, the AFCD seized a batch of dried seahorses in the operation.

     An AFCD spokesman today (November 12) said that the batch of dried seahorses weighing about 16.8 kilograms, was found in an airmail parcel with no relevant permits attached. The AFCD seized the dried seahorses and an investigation is underway.

     Seahorses are listed in Appendix II to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, and are regulated under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance (Cap 586).

     The import, export, re-export or possession of specimens of Appendix II species not in accordance with the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance is an offence. The maximum penalty is a fine of HK$500,000 and imprisonment for one year. The specimens will also be forfeited upon conviction.

     The spokesman reminded the public to comply with the regulations and not to buy, import or export specimens or products of endangered species from dubious sources.

     To enquire about the control of endangered species and to report suspected irregularities, the public can call 1823.

     The AFCD's Quarantine Detector Dog Team was established in 2008 to strengthen the efforts in combating the illegal importation of animals and animal products, including endangered species. Trained detector dogs are deployed at the control points.

Ends/Thursday, November 12, 2015
Issued at HKT 18:53


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