Shipments of protected African species to Asia soar: study

Animals such as ball pythons are popular in the Asian pet trade because of their docile nature and low space requirements, especially in crowded metropolises such as Hong Kong and Singapore. By Ed JONES (AFP/File)

Shipments of protected African species including tortoises, pythons and parrots to Asia have soared since 2006 as demand grows in the Far East for exotic pets, meats and other animal products, a new study warned Tuesday.

Wildlife imports of leopard tortoises, African spurred tortoises and ball pythons into Asia increased nearly tenfold in a decade, the report by monitoring network Traffic said, while trade in animal skins including seals also rose.

Although much of the trade is legal, all of the species in the study are protected under the Convention on International Trade in…

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