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February 23, 2013

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Man jailed for trapping weasels for fur, meat

A FISHER was sentenced to six months in prison for hunting yellow weasels and selling their fur, a local court has ruled.

The bodies of 92 weasels were found in the man's fishing boat by police in the Pudong New Area in November after local residents said they saw people poaching the animal and drying the meat on the boat.

The man, surnamed Li, started the illegal business in October after he met a vendor who purchased fur and sold banned hunting tools for capturing weasels. Li bought about 100 small hunting traps from him, the Youth Daily reported yesterday.

Li captured three to four weasels a day. He earned 40 yuan (US$6.45) for each weasel by selling their fur to the vendor, and invited his relatives to eat their meat. Li said he did not know weasels cannot be hunted.

The Pudong court said the illegal trading of weasel fur has been rampant in underground markets, tempting more people to get into the business.

The collar of a woman's coat made of weasel fur is priced at 1,300 yuan, while a leather handbag with weasel fur is priced at more than 300 yuan, the Youth Daily reported, citing a fur trader.

Yellow weasels play a role in maintaining ecological balance by limiting rodent populations and are protected by law.


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