In Brief

China reverses ban on rhino and tiger products

Decision to relax trade restrictions an ‘enormous setback’ to conservation efforts, campaigners warn

The Chinese government has alarmed conservation groups with plans to relax restrictions on the trade of rhino horns and tiger bones.  

Parts from captive animals will be authorised for scientific, medical and cultural use, Beijing’s State Council announced on Monday.  

The move lifted restrictions put in place by China in 1993 as part of a global effort to protect the world’s endangered wildlife species, Al Jazeera reports.

Rhino horns and tiger bones are prized as ingredients in Chinese traditional medicine, but their supposed medical benefits have not been scientifically proven.

Campaigners have urged the government to reconsider the move, warning that it will push the two endangered species closer to extinction.

“We are deeply concerned about China's uplift of the ban and we are battling to comprehend this shocking decision,” Audrey Delsink, wildlife director of the Humane Society International, told the South China Morning Post.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said relaxing the ban on trading rhino and tiger parts was an “enormous setback” to efforts to protect the animals in the wild.

Even if restricted to antiques and use in hospitals and research labs, “this trade would increase confusion by consumers and law enforcers as to which products are and are not legal, and would likely expand the markets for other tiger and rhino products”, WWF said.

But Beijing appears unwilling to budge on the issue. China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said yesterday that the reversal of the ban was in line with the "reasonable needs of reality”.  

Recommended

The ethics of having children in the age of climate change
Extinction Rebellion
Why we’re talking about . . .

The ethics of having children in the age of climate change

Aukus: the new security pact between UK, US and Australia explained
Joe Biden announces Aukus pact
Getting to grips with . . .

Aukus: the new security pact between UK, US and Australia explained

Hydrogen cars explained
Toyota Mirai
Getting to grips with . . .

Hydrogen cars explained

How Asia’s leaders triggered the world’s most rapid arms race
A 2015 military parade in Beijing, China
In Depth

How Asia’s leaders triggered the world’s most rapid arms race

Popular articles

Doctor says we should not sleep naked because of flatulent spraying
The feet of a person sleeping in a bed
Tall Tales

Doctor says we should not sleep naked because of flatulent spraying

World’s most extreme weather events in 2021
Wildfire in Greece
In pictures

World’s most extreme weather events in 2021

The man tasked with putting a price on 9/11’s lost lives
Kenneth Feinberg at a Congressional hearing
Profile

The man tasked with putting a price on 9/11’s lost lives

The Week Footer Banner