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China reverses ban on trade in tiger and rhino products

Conservation groups attacked the move, which officials said would permit the trade in ‘special circumstances’.

China said it will allow trading in products made from endangered tigers and rhinos under “special circumstances”, reversing a previous ban and drawing condemnation from conservation groups.

A notice from the Chinese cabinet avoided mentioning any change in the law, saying instead that it would “control” the trade and that rhino horns and tiger bones could only be obtained from farmed animals for use in “medical research or in healing”.

The products are used in traditional Chinese medicine, despite a lack of evidence of their effectiveness in treating illness.

The World Wildlife Fund said the move would have “devastating consequences globally” by allowing poachers and smugglers to hide behind legalised trade.

Despite the former ban, China has long allowed tiger farms which harvest the bones of dead animals.

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