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”.
With only around 3,900 left in the wild, every tiger counts. But Chinaâs latest move to lift the ban on tiger bone trade threatens to put a dark cloud over the worldâs wild 🐯— WWF (@WWF) October 29, 2018
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.