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Chinese City Outraged over "Fabricated" Tiger Meat Reports
Authorities in the south China city of Sanya have rejected as "sheer fabrication" media reports that a company in the tourist city planned to sell tiger meat.

Sanya Maidi Creations Co, the Sino-Thai venture named in the reports, announced it may sue media organizations that published what it said was a fabricated story.

At a press conference jointly given on Friday by the company and the Sanya authorities in Hainan province, neither party named the media organizations that published the reports.

A company spokesperson said the company imported 100 Bengal tigers from Thailand "purely for breeding and research purposes."

It was "absolutely groundless that the company would sell tiger meat" to finance its expensive breeding costs, he said.

The tigers arrived in the city in Hainan province on Dec. 25 as part of the "Love World" Tourism Project.

The company would do a good job in protecting and breeding the tigers to benefit the world and Sanya in strict accordance with wildlife requirements set by relevant United Nations authorities and Thai and Chinese forestry administrations, said the spokesperson.

The misinformation has aroused the concern of China's State Forestry Administration, which is responsible for protecting wildlife on land, and some non-governmental wildlife protection agencies outside China.

The State Forestry Administration has ordered an investigation into the matter

(Xinhua News Agency December 29, 2002)

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