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Police arrest 34 suspects for illegally trafficking wild birds

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-04-10 17:44

SHIJIAZHUANG - A total of 34 suspects have been arrested in North China for illegally hunting and trafficking 72,000 wild birds, police in Hebei province said.

Hebei forest police said the trafficking gang was caught in 2017. In September and October last year, the suspects ensnared a total of 72,000 wild birds, mainly yellow-breasted buntings, then fed them at bird farms before selling them to restaurants in southern China.

A total of 34 suspects were seized. Four are still on the run. Two of the main suspects are surnamed Wan and Li and live in Tianjin municipality. The suspects are being investigated by prosecutors.

Yellow-breasted buntings are under state protection, but people in parts of southern China believe the birds to be good for the kidneys. Dishes made from the birds are expensive, with a single plate costing around 100 yuan.

"It is hard to root out poaching if the profit chain is still there. We will continue the crackdown and strike poachers," said Cui Guojun, deputy director of the Hebei forest police bureau.

Tian Zhiwei, a wildlife protectionist, said public campaigns are needed to prevent poaching, and more manpower is needed to fight poachers.

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