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China court upholdsheavy prison terms for bird traffickers

bird-trafficking

A court in China upheld heavy prison terms up to 12 years for seven people convicted of poisoning endangered birds at Dongting Lake and selling them for meat.

The intermediate court in central China’s Hunan Province of Yueyang city ruled against the defendants’ appeals, the court said today.

In March, the People’s Court of Yueyanglou District, a lower court, found the seven guilty of poisoning, transporting and trading endangered birds.

They received prison terms from one to 12 years.

The chief defendant, identified by the surname Fang, was given 12 years in prison and a fine of 10,000 yuan (about USD 1,500).

Two others, surnamed He and Zhong, were sentenced to 10 years in prison and each was fined 10,000 yuan.

Four other defendants received terms ranging from one to six years.

The police investigation followed a tip-off from law enforcement officers with the Eastern Dongting Lake Nature Reserve, who found a boat containing many dead endangered water birds including cygnets, spot-billed ducks and herns, on January 18, 2015.

The gang had used pesticides to poison and kill more than 60 wild water birds, which are under state protection, and sold them to a restaurant in Changde City between November 2014 and January 2015.

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