In the face of strong criticism following China’s announcement that trade in tiger and rhinoceros products will resume, China decided to maintain the ban.
China will maintain for the moment the total ban on trade in tiger and rhinoceros products, following the outcry over the announcement of its easing, said a senior official in an interview on November 12, 2018.
Bans that will continue to be enforced according to Ding Xuedong
The government had announced at the end of October 2018 that the sale of products such as tiger bone or rhinoceros horn could be authorized under “special” conditions: scientific research, trade in works of art or research. and medical treatments. This decision had angered wildlife conservation groups, some of them referring to “death sentences” for these endangered species. But in an interview published a few days later by the official China News Agency, a senior government official said the new regulations were not enforced.
“After study, the publication of detailed rules has been postponed,” said Ding Xuedong, deputy secretary general of the State Council – the Chinese cabinet. The “bans will continue to be enforced,” he added, referring to the import, export, sale, transportation or use of tiger and rhinoceros products. According to the official, the fight against the illegal trade in these products will continue and illegal acts will be “treated with severity”.
A ban dating from 1993
There is a persistent demand in China for tiger and rhinoceros products, with highly controversial aphrodisiac and cancer-fighting powers. China has totally banned since 1993 the trade in rhinoceros horn and tiger bones. But the black market has to some extent replaced the legal trade. The number of tigers bred in captivity in the country has risen sharply in recent years: today there are more than 6,000, while the planet will no longer shelter a total of just over 3,000 individuals at large.
As for the different rhinoceros species, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies them as “vulnerable”, “near-threatened” or “critically endangered”. China has already taken measures to protect endangered wildlife. In particular, it banned the sale and processing of elephant ivory entirely at the end of 2017, after having already banned its import in 2015.