Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Hunt for bogus asthma cure threatens pangolins

The most trafficked mammal on the planet is in dangerous decline
Sun 24 Mar 2019 08.59 GMT
One of nature’s most remarkable creatures, the pangolin, is being driven to extinction as hunting and trafficking have soared in recent years. Studies have discovered that hundreds of thousands of these distinctive, scaly animals are now being killed every year to satisfy markets in Asia, making it the most trafficked and poached mammal on Earth.
The pangolin is hunted for its meat – and also for its scales, which are believed to have important medicinal properties as cures for poor circulation, skin complaints and asthma.
Last January, authorities in Hong Kong seized 8.3 tonnes of pangolin scales in a shipment from Nigeria bound for Vietnam. It was one of the largest confiscation of the animal’s scales ever made and its weight suggests that around 13,800 animals died to make up the consignment.
In addition, in February, Malaysian customs officers seized 1,800 boxes that contained 30 tonnes of frozen pangolins and pangolin parts. Ironically, the confiscation was made only a few days before World Pangolin Day was held on 16 February this year.

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