Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Asia

China removes pangolin from traditional medicine list

China removes pangolin from traditional medicine list

The pangolin, the most trafficked mammal on Earth, is prized for its meat and its unique scales, which are said to have medicinal properties. (AFP/ROSLAN RAHMAN)

BEIJING: China has removed pangolin parts from its official list of traditional medicines, state media reported on Tuesday (Jun 9), days after increasing legal protections on the endangered animal.

Pangolins were left out of the official Chinese Pharmacopoeia this year, along with substances including a pill formulated with bat faeces, the state-owned Health Times reported.

READ: China says illegal hunting and trading of wild animals will be severely punished

The pangolin, the world's most heavily trafficked mammal, 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.

Its body parts fetch a high price on the black market as they are commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine, although scientists say they have no therapeutic value.

China's forestry authority on Friday gave pangolins the highest level of protection in the country due to its threatened status.

READ: After COVID-19, Southeast Asia strongly favours crackdown on wildlife trade

"Depleted wild resources" are being withdrawn from the Pharmacopoeia, Health Times reported, although the exact reason for the removal of pangolins was unclear.

China has in recent months banned the sale of wild animals for food, citing the risk of diseases spreading to humans, but the trade remains legal for other purposes - including research and traditional medicine.

The World Wide Fund for Nature on Saturday said it "strongly welcomed" China's move to upgrade protections for the pangolin, calling it an "important respite" from the illegal pangolin trade.

Source: AFP/de

Advertisement

Also worth reading

Advertisement