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Prince Charles warns of poaching crisis

British Foreign Secretary William Hague says the illegal wildlife trade has become a global criminal industry that ranks with drugs and arms and people trafficking.

Hague, speaking Thursday at the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference, said tens of thousands of elephants were killed last year along with more than 1,000 rhinos taken by an illegal trade that also threatens tigers and many other species.

Prince Charles, joined by his sons Prince William and Prince Harry, made similar warnings at the opening of the one-day conference, hosted by the British government.

Prince William, soccer star David Beckham and basketball stalwart Yao Ming also released a video message supporting anti-poaching efforts.

The Canadian Press

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