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China allows use of tiger and rhino products, infuriating wildlife activists

The Chinese government has legalized the use of endangered tiger and rhino products for "medical" purposes, ...

Posted: Oct 30, 2018 7:41 PM
Updated: Oct 30, 2018 7:41 PM

The Chinese government has legalized the use of endangered tiger and rhino products for "medical" purposes, a move wildlife activists say will be a setback to efforts to protect the increasingly endangered animals.

The directive reverses a 1993 ban put in place by Beijing on the international trade in tiger bones and rhino horns, both valued for their purported healing powers in Chinese traditional medicine.

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In a statement Monday, China's State Council said rhino and tiger parts could now be used "in medical research and healing," as long as they came from farmed animals.

"Powdered forms of rhino horn and bones from dead tigers can only be used in qualified hospitals by qualified doctors recognized by the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine," the statement said.

In 2010 the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies issued a statement saying there was no evidence for the claimed medical benefits of tiger bone. No proof of medical benefits from rhino horn has been found either.

Despite this, there is a still a lucrative trade in the body parts in China, where thousands of captive tigers are bred for ineffective traditional cures.

Iris Ho, senior specialist for Wildlife Program and Policy at Humane Society International, said in a statement the announcement by Beijing was a "death warrant" for rhinos and tigers in the wild.

"This is a devastating blow to our ongoing work to save species from cruel exploitation and extinction, and we implore the Chinese government to reconsider," Ho said.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) called on Beijing to urgently reinstate the ban, saying in a statement it was "critical" to saving the species.

"It is deeply concerning that China has reversed its 25 year old tiger bone and rhino horn ban, allowing a trade that will have devastating consequences globally", said Margaret Kinnaird, WWF Wildlife Practice Leader.

The decision by the Chinese government comes less than a year after it officially banned the trade of ivory, a move which conservationists hoped would help save increasingly endangered elephants.

In its statement the State Council said any illegal trade of rhino and tiger products would be subject to "severe crackdowns" and illegal products would be confiscated.

But Kinnaird said the new law could lead to illegal products being sold under the cover of legality, as well as increased demand from consumers.

"With wild tiger and rhino populations at such low levels and facing numerous threats, legalized trade in their parts is simply too great a gamble for China to take," she said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 608519

Reported Deaths: 9693
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion840461335
Lake45349684
Allen32803548
Hamilton29394315
St. Joseph27380381
Elkhart24404345
Vanderburgh19411249
Tippecanoe17970138
Johnson15069295
Porter14783169
Hendricks14401248
Madison10965221
Vigo10726181
Clark10677144
Monroe9383110
Delaware9116134
LaPorte9065163
Howard8236144
Kosciusko806983
Warrick672999
Hancock6697104
Bartholomew6484100
Floyd6428110
Wayne6136162
Grant5991115
Dubois555579
Boone551168
Morgan541295
Henry507864
Marshall503984
Cass483263
Dearborn479845
Noble473059
Jackson425047
Shelby417581
Lawrence391079
Clinton373043
Gibson370359
Harrison348144
DeKalb347164
Montgomery345754
Knox335639
Miami321444
Steuben313745
Whitley307326
Wabash303251
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Greene239862
Posey239328
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Scott225339
Clay222532
Randolph213548
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Sullivan192333
Spencer191321
Washington186423
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Starke175443
Jay167623
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Carroll158015
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Blackford111022
Pulaski97037
Newton90921
Brown88035
Benton86610
Crawford7999
Martin73713
Warren6817
Switzerland6615
Union6287
Ohio4907
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 859841

Reported Deaths: 10680
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin101171707
Cuyahoga855711125
Hamilton64017448
Montgomery43107418
Summit34836761
Lucas31350625
Butler30973232
Stark25786435
Warren19671140
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Mahoning17321338
Lake16080154
Clermont15926111
Delaware1438878
Licking13204137
Trumbull12809316
Fairfield1279381
Greene12055137
Medina11591168
Clark10942265
Wood10348158
Allen9897126
Portage9296109
Miami916873
Richland9139118
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Columbiana7327124
Pickaway726150
Wayne7034171
Muskingum703141
Erie6152129
Hancock552390
Ross548998
Scioto539164
Geauga508455
Darke470292
Ashtabula453073
Lawrence452654
Union451828
Sandusky436662
Mercer433589
Seneca430166
Huron428741
Auglaize422264
Shelby421222
Jefferson419269
Belmont416840
Washington388740
Athens38009
Putnam374975
Madison355129
Knox352622
Ashland344938
Fulton338443
Defiance330086
Crawford322374
Preble320637
Brown312921
Logan307332
Ottawa293943
Clinton290143
Williams278667
Highland275118
Jackson263845
Guernsey254125
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Holmes225474
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Wyandot196051
Pike176217
Adams176115
Hocking172024
Carroll155616
Paulding144321
Noble120540
Meigs108624
Monroe100732
Harrison89121
Morgan83130
Vinton70213
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