ENDANGERED

Fury as China Weakens Ban on Trading Rhino and Tiger Parts

Animal conservationists are heavily criticizing China’s decision to weaken a ban on the trade of tiger bones and rhino horn. Beijing prohibited the trade of the endangered species in 1993 but ruled Monday that parts from captive animals would be authorized under specific scientific, medical, and cultural uses. Tiger bones and rhino horns are prescribed in China to treat a range of conditions, including fever, gout, insomnia and meningitis, the BBC reports, despite no scientific evidence that they work. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said in a statement that the move would have “devastating consequences” and be an “enormous setback” to efforts to protect the animals. “Even if restricted to antiques and use in hospitals, this trade would increase confusion by consumers and law enforcers as to which products are and are not legal, and would likely expand the markets for other tiger and rhino products,” WWF said.