China lifts ban on use of rhino and tiger parts for medicine
Environmentalists are alarmed and furious after China announced it was partially lifting a 25-year-old ban on the trade of rhino and tiger parts.
BEIJING — China has allowed the use of rhino and tiger products in medicine, alarming conservationists who say it will hamper efforts to protect them from extinction.
China's State Council recently announced the partial lifting of a 25-year-old ban which will now allow the use of tiger and rhinoceros parts for scientific, medical, or cultural use.
According to the New York Times, powdered rhino horns are used in Chinese traditional medicine to treat fevers and food poisoning, while tiger bone wine is believed to increase virility. Both have no proven benefit.
The Chinese government claims the trade will be strictly controlled, and products must only be sourced from animals that are bred in captivity, excluding those in zoos.
But conservationists say the move will only fuel black market trade in wild animal parts, endangering the estimated 30,000 rhinos and 3,900 tigers still in the wild.
The move is a complete turnaround from Beijing's previous efforts in championing climate change initiatives and banning the domestic ivory trade.
Experts speculate that the sudden easing of the ban may be a push to encourage Chinese traditional culture and medicine, reports Time.
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