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Hong Kong (Animal Welfare)

Volume 127: debated on Thursday 11 February 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will seek to prevent the sale by auction by the Hong Kong authorities of illegally imported animal tusks, skins and antlers which have been confiscated.

No. The confiscated animal tusks, skins and antlers being offered for sale by auction by the Hong Kong Government, are listed under appendix II of the convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora (CITES), for which trade for commercial purposes is allowed under strict licensing control. These goods were seized by the Hong Kong Government over the last three years from illegal importers as a result of stringent enforcement action.The sale is being conducted in accordance with CITES guidelines and with the endorsement of Hong Kong's endangered species advisory committee, a statutory body which advises the Hong Kong Government on all endangered species protection matters. Successful tenderers must obtain appropriate possession licences, or registration in the case of ivory tusks, before they may take possession of the goods.All species listed in CITES appendix II are not immediately threatened with extinction, but may become so unless trade in such species is strictly regulated through licensing control in order to prevent overexploitation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will provide details by animal species of the tusks, skins and antlers seized by the Hong Kong authorities and due for auction on 26 February.

The items due for auction on 26 February consist of:

  • 638 pieces of elephant ivory tusk,
  • Nine pieces of lynx skin,
  • Six pieces of wild cat skin,
  • 96 pieces of otter skin,
  • 18 pieces of red deer antler,
  • 250 pieces of alligator-crocodile,
  • 1,708 pieces of monitor lizard skin,
  • 246 pieces of python skin,
  • 239·2 kgs of elephant ivory cut pieces,
  • 81·2 kgs of elephant ivory scraps,
  • 2·9 kgs of wild American ginseng.