23rd September 2022 – (Hong Kong) The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) seized three live endangered animals and an endangered animal specimen suspected to be illegally possessed in an exhibition today, involving a live green iguana (Iguana iguana), a live Spencer’s monitor (Varanus spenceri), a live golden coin turtle (Cuora trifasciata) and an African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) specimen.
The AFCD received complaints recently regarding the display of live endangered animals and endangered species specimens suspected of being illegally possessed in an exhibition, and hence conducted onsite inspection. AFCD staff found live endangered animals and a specimen of endangered species on display at a booth in the exhibition. As the person responsible for the booth had failed to present a valid license or relevant documentary proof, AFCD staff therefore seized the concerned animals and specimen for further investigation.
A spokesman for the AFCD said, “Under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance (Cap. 586), the possession of specimens of Appendix I to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora for commercial purposes is generally prohibited and the possession of live animals of Appendix II requires a valid Licence to Possess or documentary proof to show that the specimen is not of wild origin.”
A spokesman for the AFCD said that illegal possession of endangered species is a serious offence. Any person contravening the Ordinance will be liable to a maximum fine of $10 million and imprisonment for 10 years upon conviction. The specimens will also be forfeited.