Shahtoosh trade banned

Published: Monday 31 July 2000

in accordance with the central government's policy on wildlife protection the Jammu and Kashmir government has banned the shahtoosh shawl trade. The trade is posing a threat to the existence of the Tibetan antelope.

Economically, the ban will result in a huge revenue loss for the state, as each shahtoosh shawl sells for Rs 1,00,000 and above.

The state had so far been resisting the ban on the pretext that thousands of families are depended on the trade for their living. The government said that the wool was not obtained by killing the antelope, but by collecting tufts left behind by the antelope while passing through bushes.

"We will request the Centre to provide a one-time exception for sale of shahtoosh stocks available with the traders," says state chief minister Farooq Abdullah. The state government is now planning to promote pashmina shawls in a big way and a trade exhibition was held in Paris for this purpose.

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