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Dissecting China’s volte-face on tiger, rhino protection

29 12 14

ON OCT 29, 2018, China announced its decision to lift a ban imposed in 1993 on rhino and tiger products used for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

This announcement was an official reversal in favour of the medicinal and other uses of rhino and tiger products, and is arguably a monumental setback for China’s wildlife protection efforts.

Conservation and wildlife experts around the world expressed deep concern over the long-term impact of this policy change on the fate of the remaining individuals of the two iconic species in the wild.

SEE ALSO: China relaxes ban on tiger and rhino parts for ‘special’ purposes

To Chinese wildlife activists, the policy change represented a major blow to China’s reputation in the global coalition for wildlife protection.

In the face of this global outcry, on Nov 12 Chinese authorities changed track, stating that the lifting of the ban has been “postponed after study”. It is unclear how long this postponement will last.

But why did China lift the ban in the first place?

The 1993 policy prohibits the use of rhino and tiger parts in TCM. Source: AFP

As a famous saying goes, Rome was not built in a day. The policy reversal was a result of years of efforts made by a coalition of forces since 1993.

China has a formidable wildlife farming business interest. The tiger and rhino farming businesses are the most vocal........

© Asian Correspondent