Page last updated at 20:08 GMT, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 21:08 UK

Chinatown tiger remedies seized

Chinatown at night
Chinatown is home to many traditional medicine shops

Medicines made from endangered animals including leopards and tigers were seized when police swooped on a shop in Chinatown, central London.

The Metropolitan Police's wildlife crime unit raided the undisclosed shop on the day a legal loophole was closed.

Traders had previously been able to claim products came from countries with few wildlife crime laws - and it was hard to prove the goods' true origins.

But now medicines from rare species are illegal wherever they come from.

'Profiting from killing'

Police seized over 200 products during the raid on the shop on Tuesday.

Det Con David Flint said: "Most traditional Chinese medicines are not made from endangered species and can be sold legally.

"However, a small number of products do contain these ingredients, and it is these products that have an impact on wild populations."

He continued: "To meet this demand, poachers and traffickers will continue to profit from killing and supplying animals from other parts of the world, and the future of some of our most endangered species will be at risk."



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