Govt adviser quits over illegal ivory links - RTHK
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Govt adviser quits over illegal ivory links

2018-01-10 HKT 12:52
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  • Environmentalists say Hong Kong is a hub for the illegal ivory trade. File photo: RTHK
    Environmentalists say Hong Kong is a hub for the illegal ivory trade. File photo: RTHK
Richard Pyne reports
A member of the government's advisory committee on endangered species told RTHK on Wednesday that he is quitting the panel after it was revealed that he has been selling banned ivory products.

Ivory trader Lau Sai-yuan said he will step down from the Endangered Species Advisory Committee, which is tasked with providing advice to the director of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department on the protection of endangered wildlife.

In an embarrassing turn of events for the government, Lau was on Tuesday convicted at Eastern Magistrates' Court of possessing chopsticks that contain ivory obtained after the international trade ban imposed in 1990. He was fined HK$8,000.

Alex Hofford from WildAid Hong Kong welcomed Lau's resignation and said that was the only course of action left for the government advisory board member.

Hofford had earlier chided the government panel over the issue. "It is pretty incredible that ivory traders and shark fin traders actually sit on that committee in the first place. Obviously some conflicts of interests apply here," he said.

The chairman of the advisory committee, Professor Shaw Pang-chui, said Lau's decision was appropriate.

Shaw said this will help the advisory panel to continue its work without getting distracted by this issue.

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Last updated: 2018-01-10 HKT 15:48