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China cracks down on poaching monkeys

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing 

The crackdown followed media reports that restaurants in hilly Zixi County, Jiangxi Province, were selling meat from the macaque, an endangered short-tail monkey.

The monkeys were killed illegally on local mountains, sold to farmers' markets, and gruesomely slaughtered and served in several restaurants, according to the reports.

Monkey meat can sell for 560 yuan (USD 88) per kilogramme, while monkey brain can fetch 1,600 yuan per kg (USD 300), a report by the state-run Xinhua agency said.

Four local officials, including the county's forestry bureau chief, have been sacked following the reports.

"We insist that no poaching cases happen again," said Yan Gangjun, head of the Jiangxi provincial forestry bureau, adding that a province-wide "severe crackdown" has been launched.

According to the Chinese Criminal Law, those who illegally catch or kill endangered species of wildlife can be sentenced to no less than ten years in prison in serious cases.

First Published: Thu, November 29 2012. 13:36 IST