Beijing, Oct 30 (IANS) China on Tuesday defended legalizing the use of tiger bone and rhinoceros horn for scientific and medicinal purposes after a 25-year ban, amid protests by animal rights organizations.
“We noticed that the former regulations did not take into full consideration the scientific research, education, law enforcement and other aspects,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said at a press conference.
He added that the new norms have incorporated these aspects while tightened measures to ensure protection of the animals, Efe news reported.
According to the new norms, tiger bones and rhino horns can be prescribed only by doctors certified by the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
It also said that rhinoceros horns can only be obtained from those bred in captivity, while tiger bones can be sourced only from those tigers that die a natural death.
“It is deeply concerning that China has reversed its 25 year old tiger bone and rhino horn ban, allowing a trade that will have devastating consequences globally,” said Margaret Kinnaird, WWF Wildlife Practice Leader.
The WWF also called on China to reconsider its decision and reinstate the ban.
In 1993, China had banned tiger bone and rhino horn trading and use under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, an agreement between more than 170 countries.