Fighting the illegal wildlife trade
China has just made the dramatic decision to reverse its 25 year ban on the trading of rhino horn and tiger bones from farmed animals.
Its government says it will once again allow the trading of animal body parts for scientific research, as cultural relics and for use in hospitals.
Science has shown us that there’s no evidence whatsoever that rhino horn and tiger bones offer any health benefits. Even with a ban on these products over the last 25 years, the Asian medicinal market is still the number one driver for poaching across Africa and India. Although the ban on these products from wild animals remains in place, we believe this decision will now ignite the market and provide cover for illegal trade, risking further encouragement of the poaching of these magnificent animals.
This decision could set back conservation efforts by decades. Less than 30,000 rhinos and 3,000 tigers remain in the wild and NOW
, more than ever, time is something that rhinos and tigers do not have. The decision is perplexing given the recent moves in China to close their domestic ivory market, which we welcome.
The zoo is working in Africa to support rangers in their efforts to protect rhino populations that are already struggling to stay afloat due to constant hunting pressures. Our Living with Tigers project in Nepal is assisting conservationists with new measures of boosting numbers of wild tigers.
We are seriously concerned about the consequences that could come of this ruling.
We will continue to fight for these animals. We will Act for Wildlife.