BEIJING: Wildlife activists on Wednesday (Jun 10) welcomed China's decision to remove pangolin parts from its official list of traditional medicines, as Beijing steps up protection of the heavily-trafficked endangered mammal.
Chinese state media reported on Tuesday that pangolins were left out of the official Chinese Pharmacopoeia this year, days after the government increased legal protections for the animals to the same level enjoyed by giant pandas.
While international trade in the pangolin is illegal, the animal's body parts have frequently been sold at high prices on the black market as they are commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine, though scientists say they have no therapeutic value.
The move "may not stop the black market, but it gives a legal foundation that should slow trade and discourage legal consumers," Maria Diekmann, founder of the Namibia-based Rare and Endangered Species Trust, told AFP.
Diekmann said that while conservationists had been pushing for China to remove the pangolin's medicinal status for years, the COVID-19 pandemic was likely the factor behind "99 per cent of the decision".
The animal, which lives in Africa and Asia, is thought by some scientists to be the possible host of the novel coronavirus that emerged at a market in China's Wuhan city last year.
"Depleted wild resources" are being withdrawn from the Pharmacopoeia, the state-owned Health Times reported Tuesday, although the exact reason for the removal of pangolins was not given.
Richard Thomas from animal rigRead More – Source