China Reverses 25-year ban on Rhino and Tiger Parts

Our Take

Animal cruelty is at its all time high. According to WWF’s Living Planet Report reveals that “humanity has wiped out 60% of wildlife since the 1970s.” It also says that “Earth is losing biodiversity at a rate seen only during mass extinctions.” And shockingly, just after the release of this report, Chinese government lifts the ban on Rhino and Tiger hunting. 

According to the Chinese government, they would allow the use of rhinoceros horns and tiger bones in medicine. The State Council, China’s cabinet, said in a policy directive that it would legalize the use of rhino horns and tiger bones for “medical research or in healing,” but only by certified hospitals and doctors, and only from rhinos and tigers raised in captivity, excluding zoo animals. No reason was given for the lifting of the ban, which was implemented in 1993. 

Under the special circumstances, regulation on the sales and use of these products will be strengthened, and any related actions will be authorized, and the trade volume will be strictly controlled.

Statement by the Chinese Government

Tiger bone and rhino horn are used in traditional Chinese medicine. There is hardly any scientific evidence for the effectiveness of them. Chinese demand for ivory is also blamed as a driver behind the slaughter of African elephants, despite Beijing banning all trade in ivory starting from this year.

Environmentalists said the decision would likely help fuel a black market for wild rhino and tiger parts, which are revered in traditional Chinese medicine for supposed healing powers, and could lead to increased poaching of the fewer than 30,000 rhinos and 3,900 tigers still in the wild.

“It’s a devastating decision,” said Leigh Henry, director of wildlife policy at the World Wildlife Fund in Washington. “I can’t overstate the potential impact.”

The announcement on Monday threatened to undermine President Xi Jinping’s efforts to promote an image of China as a responsible environmental steward capable of tackling global issues like climate change and air pollution.

What do you think?

Written by Sugat Srivastava

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