Geneva - Countries voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to regulate international trade in giraffes, an endangered species, and in their body parts, overcoming objections by southern African states and drawing praise from conservationists.
The provisional decision, taken in a key committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), is expected to be endorsed at a plenary next week, officials said. The requirements would come into force 30 days later.
"The giraffe is in the wild much rarer than African elephants, much rarer," Tom De Meulenaer, CITES' scientific services chief, told a news briefing before the vote.
"We are talking about a few tens of thousands of giraffes, and talk about a few hundreds of thousands of African elephants. So we need to be careful," he said.
Some 106 parties to the U.N.-backed wildlife conservation treaty voted in favour of the motion, 21 voted against, with 7 abstentions, the chairman said, adding: "The proposal is accepted."