Pangolin Scales Banned From Traditional Chinese Medicine
China has officially banned pangolin scales from being used in traditional medicine.
The decision was made to remove pangolin scales from the 2020 Chinese Pharmacopoeia — a list of approved ingredients for medicinal purposes — following new protections granted to the species.
The pangolin — which is currently the world’s most trafficked mammal — now comes under the category of first-level protected wildlife.
“Commitment To Protecting Wildlife”
“We highly applaud this announcement, made in recognition of the need to protect critically endangered pangolins,” said Steve Blake, chief representative of WildAid in Beijing.
“Along with upgrading pangolins to a national level one protected species, these two actions are crucial to help curb illegal trade. This shows China’s rapidly strengthened commitment to protecting wildlife.”
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Some people believe that eating the scales of the pangolin can help to improve sexual function, soothe inflammation and boost circulation.
Following the elevated protection status of the pangolin, those found to be harming this animal for its scales could face a lengthy prison sentence.
“A Very Significant Step”
“More details are yet to come on the products already on the market or how long legal sales will still be available, but it’s only a matter of time now,” said Blake.
“And when they are all illegal it sends a very clear signal to both the consumer and enforcement officers, leaving no room for confusion or laundering illegal products. It is a very significant step in curbing the pangolin trade.”
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COVID-19 is believed to have originated at a wet market in China — where pangolins have long been bought and sold alongside other wild animals.
In an effort to prevent future pandemics, China has implemented a ban on the trade of wild animals, and offered incentives to farmers who transition from the wildlife trade.
Do you think China is doing enough to protect wild animals? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!