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WWF calls on China to maintain ban on tiger and rhino products
Rhino horn and tiger bone were removed from the traditional Chinese Medicine Market in 1993

Charity says reversing ban would further confuse consumers 

International wildlife charity WWF is calling on China to maintain its ban on tiger bone and rhino horn from captive-bred animals after The State Council revealed it will allow its use for some medical and cultural purposes.

Margaret Kinnaird, WWF wildlife practice leader, said she was ‘deeply concerned’ about the decision and that it will have “devastating consequences’.
The new rules ban the sale, use, import and export of tiger bone and rhino horn. But under 'special circumstances', such as medical and scientific research, exceptions will be allowed.

“Trade in tiger bone and rhino horn was banned in 1993. The resumption of a legal market for these products is an enormous setback to efforts to protect tigers and rhinos in the wild,” said Margaret Kinnaird. "China's experience with the domestic ivory trade has clearly shown the difficulties of trying to control parallel legal and illegal markets for ivory.

"Not only could this lead to the risk of legal trade providing cover to illegal trade, but this policy will also stimulate demand that had otherwise declined since the ban was put in place.”

Rhino horn and tiger bone were removed from the traditional Chinese medicine pharmacopoeia in 1993. In 2010, the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies released a statement urging members not to use tiger bone or any other parts from endangered animals.

WWF says that even if restricted to medical use, reversing the ban would further confuse consumers and lawmakers as to when products are and are not legal - and could widen the markets for other tiger and rhino products.

“With wild tiger and rhino populations at such low levels and facing numerous threats, legalised trade in their parts is simply too great a gamble for China to take,"
Kinnaird added. "This decision seems to contradict the leadership China has shown recently in tackling the illegal wildlife trade, including the closure of their domestic ivory market, a game changer for elephants warmly welcomed by the global community."

WWF is now calling on China to set a clear plan and timetable to close existing captive breeding facilities. The organisation says that such facilities pose a high risk to wild tiger conservation by complicating enforcement and increasing demand in tiger products.

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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”