Traditional Chinese medicine uses tiger paws and bones to give energy and vitality; rhino horns powder to enhance sexual potency. For the Council of State animals raised in captivity or dead can be used. But the WWF fears that the market will expand.
Beijing (Asianews / Agencies) - The Chinese State Council has initiated the use of tiger's paws and bones and rhinoceros horns for scientific purposes and in medicine. For 25 years their trade was forbidden to protect the species. Margaret Kinnaird, of the WWF, says that the resumption of this trade "will have devastating and global consequences".
Tiger's paws and rhinoceros horns are an element of traditional Chinese medicine. It is thought that feeding on tiger's paws gives the patient energy and vitality; rhino horns, crushed and drunk in special potions, would guarantee sexual potency.
China banned the use of tiger bones and rhino horns in 1993, adhering to the International Trade Convention to save endangered flora and fauna.
The permit granted by yesterday sets limits: the medicinal use of the products must be prescribed by doctors enrolled in the State Register of Traditional Chinese Medicine; tiger's paws and bones can be taken from animals raised in captivity or from dead tigers; genetic studies must use the products only for research purposes.
According to the WWF, even with these limits, the customs clearance of this special trade will "expand the market".