China Reverses Its Ban on the Use of Rhino and Tiger Parts in Medicine

China Reverses Its Ban on the Use of Rhino and Tiger Parts in Medicine

Conservationists worry that the decision will further imperil threatened species

By Brigit Katz

smithsonian.com

In a controversial and surprising move, China announced on Monday that it will reverse a decades-old ban on the use of rhinoceros horns and tiger bones in medicine.

As Javier C. Hernández of the New York Times reports, China’s State Council said the reversal will only apply to certified hospitals and doctors, and that the parts must be sourced from animals raised in captivity, excluding zoo animals. But conservationists worry that that a legal trade will provide cover for poached rhino and tiger parts, imperilling already threatened species