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BEIJING - Police uncovered more than 700 cases of illegal wildlife trade during a recent crackdown on websites and antique markets that openly traded in animal products from endangered species, the State Forestry Administration said Saturday.
Around 100,000 police officers were sent to inspect 5,962 markets during the crackdown, the dates of which have not been revealed by authorities. They busted 13 gangs, punished 1,031 illegal traders, seized over 130,000 wild animals and 2,000 animal products worth nearly seven million yuan ($1.11 million), according to a statement posted on the administration's website.
Police officers also shut down 7,155 high-street shops and 628 websites selling banned animals and removed 1,607 related online messages, it added.
Illegal wildlife trade has been rampant in some parts of the country in recent years, triggering complaints from domestic and foreign wildlife advocacy groups.
The recent crackdown helped protect wildlife resources, clean up the Internet environment and ensure normal market order, according to the statement.