BBC: Alarm as China eases 25-year ban on rhino and tiger parts

30 October, 2018

Readonline: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-46027702

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'Animal conservationists are alarmed over China's decision to partially reverse a ban on the trade of tiger bones and rhino horn.

Rhinos and tigers are both endangered in the wild and China prohibited their trade in 1993.

But on Monday it said parts from captive animals would be authorised for scientific, medical and cultural use.

Experts worry this will increase demand for the animals and jeopardise efforts to protect them.

Rhino and tiger parts are highly valued in traditional Chinese medicine. They are prescribed to treat a large variety of ailments including fever, gout, insomnia and meningitis, thought any benefits have not been proven...

In a statement announcing the replacement of the 25-year old ban, the State Council said powdered forms of rhino horn and bones from dead tigers could be used in "qualified hospitals by qualified doctors".

Rachel Nuwer, author of the book Poached: Inside The Dark World of Wildlife Trafficking, said on Twitter this could mean "game over" for the remaining tigers and rhinos in the world.'

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Comment: This decision by the Chinese Government is not based on evidence: rhino horn is made of the same stuff as fingernails and there is no evidence that it is effective for any disease. It is a clear example of government policy that ignores (lack of) evidence.

Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 18,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on five global forums in three languages. He also currently chairs the Dgroups Foundation (www.dgroups.info), which supports 800 communities of practice on international development, health and social justice. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org