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China tightens regulations for panda exhibitors

(Xinhua)

14:11, August 05, 2011

China issued new regulations on Thursday to restrict the practices of panda exhibitors in order to protect the endangered animals.

The State Forestry Administration (SFA) said on its website that starting Sept. 1, non-artificially-bred pandas may no longer be used for exhibition purposes. Pandas under the age of 2 or above the age of 25 are also included in the ban.

Exhibition organizers should provide proper facilities, adequate funds and human resources and obtain the proper licenses before holding exhibitions, the statement said.

Organizers will be required to arrange for annual physical examinations for their pandas and keep accurate records of their medical histories.

Organizers will also be prohibited from collecting blood or semen from their pandas during exhibition periods. Transferring pandas to a third party is also prohibited under the new regulations.

Giant pandas are one of the world's most endangered species. About 1,600 pandas live in the wild, mostly in the mountains of southwest China's Sichuan Province, while more than 210 live in captivity.

The Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding and Research Base, established in 1987, is home to 98 captive-bred giant pandas.

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