China to protect pangolin as it protects giant panda
Beijing, Jun 6 (Prensa Latina) China has announced it will upgrade all species of pangolins from second-class to first-class protected animals considering their rapidly decreasing number, due to overhunting and habitat destruction.
According to official sources, authorities said that they will work more to protect and rescue the species with measures which include improving their habitat, cracking down on poaching and trafficking, as well as setting up a protection research center and gene bank for pangolins.
China banned pangolin hunting in 2007. In August 2018, it stopped the trade pangolins and their products completely.
Other first-class protected animals include giant pandas, Tibetan antelopes and red-crowned cranes.
According to local law, this classification stipulates sentences of more than 10 years in prison, life imprisonment and up to the maximum penalty for killing, buying illegally, transporting or selling these animals, as well as by-products.
Some people have suggested to remove pangolins from Chinese Pharmacopoeia and strengthen protection of wild animals used in medicine. Pangolin meat is viewed as a delicacy in some Asian cities. Pangolin scales are commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine to promote lactation and impotence.
Some voices even reaffirm that 'there is no scientific evidence in modern medicine that shows that pangolin scales have certain therapeutic or health benefits.'
It is believed to be the world's most trafficked mammal. About one million pangolins are estimated to have been poached in the last decade, and 20 tons of pangolins and their parts are trafficked internationally every year, according to wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC.
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