2020/06/11

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Pangolins removed from Chinas official TCM list


In more good news for the noble pangolin, the small scaly creature has been stricken from Chinas official compendium of medical treatments.
Pangolins are rare, adorable creatures that are covered with a layer of scales meant to protect against predators. Unfortunately, their protective scales are also highly coveted by traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, helping the pangolin to earn the unenviable title of the most heavily trafficked mammal on the planet.
Pangolin scales can reportedly be sold for about 800 yuan ($113) per kilogram in China. They are thought to aid the body in a number of different ways including stimulating lactation, reducing swelling, curing cancer, and, of course, helping out with erectile dysfunction, making the animal a favorite target of poachers.
Last year, Hangzhou customs seized 23 metric tons of pangolin scales in a single bust.

However, China has now placed an increased focus on protecting the pangolin, granting it first-class state protection last week  putting it on the same level as the panda.

With that new status, the animal has been officially removed from the latest version of the Chinese Pharmacopoeia for 2020  evidently, it was still on there even after it was granted second-class state protection and in the wake of China banning the hunting of the mammal in 2007 and halting the importation of pangolin products in 2018.
The pangolins can thank the Covid-19 virus outbreak for its new designation as a not a TCM ingredient.
With the coronavirus evidently arising from a wet market in Wuhan, China has been forced to crack down hard on illegal wildlife trade. Pangolins are particularly a creature of concern since they have been fingered as potentially the animal that transferred the virus on to humans.


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