We’ve posted before on Doubtful News how the pangolin – scaly anteater – is killed and used for Traditional Chinese Medicine preparations and for consumption. A single animal may bring $7000 on the black market. It is facing extinction thanks to its unusual characteristics.
Official records show that pangolins are being illegally traded on a “shocking” scale, according to a report.
The globally threatened animals are sought for their scales which are used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Zhao-Min Zhou, from the Public Security Bureau for Forests in China’s Yunnan province, worked with researchers from the University of Oxford to analyse official records of pangolins seized from smugglers.
The research team uncovered records that 2.59 tonnes of scales, representing approximately 4,870 pangolins, along with 259 intact pangolins (220 living; 39 dead) have been seized since 2010, resulting in 43 enforcement cases.
According to the report, pangolin scales are currently worth £360 ($600) per kilo, twice the amount they traded for in 2008.
Pangolins have a low birth rate, compounding the issue. It’s estimated around 10,000 animals are seized worldwide annually but that does not account for the illegal trade not uncovered. That rate is unsustainable. Their scales, made of keratin, are nothing special except for THEM. Due to the use of their parts for non-useful medicine, one professor calls this trade “intolerably wasteful”. All trading of pangolins is illegal.