The nature conservation groups welcome China to take the pangolin out of the traditional medicine list, saying it could be a ‘turning point’.
Pangolines had taken their place on the world agenda, especially on the grounds that they played a role in the emergence of coronavirus, but this claim has not been scientifically proven yet.
Pangolins are hunting for their hard scales, which are mostly used to protect themselves from the attacks of other animals.
These scales have been used extensively in Chinese traditional medicine. They are also hunting for their meat.
With the recent epidemic, China had previously forbidden animals living in nature to hunt for food; however, they can still be hunted for medicinal purposes.
Paul Thompson, of the Pangolin Conservation campaign, said that China’s last step could change the course:
“China’s removal of pangolin flakes from the traditional drug list may be the turning point we have been waiting for a long time. We hope that China will also increase controls and make efforts to change consumer behavior. ”
Katheryn Wise from the World Animal Protection group also welcomed the news.
Wise called for antlers to hunt similar protection to “wild animals caught in tiny cages that are often caught in the spread of all kinds of diseases” in their natural environment, such as anteater.
Coronavirus and animals living in nature
In the days when the coronavirus epidemic spread rapidly, China banned the eating of animals living in nature.
But some of these animals can still be hunted for use in drug making or to take advantage of their fur.
The name Pangolin was among the wild animal species that may have played a role in the emergence of the coronavirus, but no evidence has been found on this subject.
Nicole Benjamin-Fink of Conservation Beyond Borders, another wildlife conservation organization, said that it is time to protect pangolin, the most illegal trafficked mammal worldwide, whether it plays a role in the transition to human coronavirus.
“Hopefully this will be a first, and eventually the use of animals living in nature is completely prohibited in traditional Chinese medicine,” said Benjamin-Fink.
Pangolins live by eating ants and other insects.
Eight pangolin species living in Africa and Asia are protected by international law, but there is no demand for illegal hunting and trading.