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Python Trade Concerns

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The global trade in python skins is often illegal and is threatening the survival of some species, says a new report.

Researchers say the growing demand for handbags and other fashion items in Europe is fuelling imports.

But the trade is so poorly regulated that it is extremely difficult to establish the true source of the skins.

The authors argue that in some locations, the methods used to kill the snakes are extremely cruel.

The snake skin business is extremely lucrative according to this report, which estimates that half a million python skins are exported annually from South East Asia in a trade worth $1bn dollars (£625 million) a year.

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