The mammals pangolins are not included in the latest version of the Chinese pharmacopoeia for 2020. Thus, these animals will no longer be used in traditional Chinese medicine. This was reported in the Global Times.
The publication notes that the exclusion of the pangolins from the list occurred after China transferred these animals to the rank of specially protected along with pandas, Tibetan antelopes and some species of cranes. The reason for this was excessive hunting of the pangolins and destruction of their habitat.
Pangolins, or as they are called lizards, are considered not only one of the species closest to extinction, but also the most illegally exported mammals in the world, the newspaper reported on Tuesday 9 June, citing the international wildlife trade research organization TRAFFIC.
In the late 1990s, the number of lizards in China reached 60,000, but in almost 20 years, their population has declined by about 90%. China began banning hunting them in the wild back in 2007, and commercial exports of pangolins from China were stopped in 2018. However, fishing for these animals has not stopped as lizard flakes are believed to improve blood circulation and reduce various inflammations.
It is noted that in 1993, China banned the use of rhinoceros horns and tiger bones in traditional Chinese medicine.
On February 7, Chinese scientists came to the conclusion that mammals pangolins may be intermediate hosts of coronavirus, and on February 15, the Ministry of Science and Technology of China reported that the most likely source of coronavirus are bats.
Distribution of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, began in China at the end of December last year. In a few months, the disease has spread to over 200 countries. On 11 March, WHO declared a coronavirus pandemic.