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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 August 2006, 09:54 GMT 10:54 UK
China to promote wild animal hunt
A herd of yaks in Tibet
Foreigners could buy the right to shoot a yak
China is to auction licences for foreigners to hunt wild animals, including endangered species, according to local media.

The auction will offer the right to hunt yaks, wolves and other wild animals in five western provinces.

The price of a licence will depend on the type and number of animals to be hunted, the Beijing Youth Daily said.

The auctioneers told the BBC that the sale, the first of its kind in China, would go ahead on Sunday.

A licence to hunt a wolf could go for about $200 (105), while permission to shoot a yak could be as much as $40,000 (21,000), the daily said.

Shooting an argali, a large wild sheep, will cost about $10,000 (5,000) while a blue sheep will cost $2,500 (1,300), the paper said..

"Some animals are from the first and second category of national wildlife protection, but with the strict limitations in place, the hunting could not destroy wild animal populations," the daily said.

The wolf is the only carnivore on the list of animals that could be hunted.

The licences will cover five areas of western China - Qinghai, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces and the autonomous regions of Ningxia and Xinjiang.

Proceeds from the auction would be used to protect wild animals, the daily said.

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