Endangered bird traffickers stand trial in Hunan

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Seven people stood trial on Thursday in central China’s Hunan Province for trafficking endangered birds for meat.

According to the People’s Court of Yueyanglou District, the gang of 11 suspects illegally poisoned, purchased, transported and sold endangered birds, with their activity conducted in the wetlands of Eastern Dongting Lake Nature Reserve and surrounding regions.

Police began to investigate the gang on January 18, when law enforcement officers with the reserve found a boat carrying many dead endangered water birds including cygnets, spot-billed ducks and herons.

They found that the gang bought pesticides to poison and kill more than 60 wild water birds under state protection in the reserve, selling them to restaurants in Changde City between November 2014 and January 2015.

Two of the suspects surrendered to police, while five others were caught. Another four are still on the run, the court said.

The court will give a verdict on another date.