On Monday, China legalised the use of rhinoceros horns and tiger bones for medical, scientific and educational purposes. According to local beliefs, "drugs" based on rhino horns or tiger bones act on potency, fever, insomnia and more. Although there is no scientific evidence to support these beliefs.
Despite the fact that 25 years ago China introduced a total ban on the import and export of rhino horns and tiger bones, it still did not stop poachers from brutal attacks on endangered species to provide "trophies" to the black market.
This may be the end for the rare species - their defenders who fought for years to save the shrinking populations of tigers and rhinos have been worried for years about the continuous decrease in population. So far, as a result of their actions, almost the entire population of these wonderful animals has already been killed. It is thought there are only 30,000 rhinos and 4,000 tigers left in the world.
The reason why the Chinese authorities made this decision is not fully known. Perhaps one of the factors that led to this is the growing number of tiger farms and efforts to create such for rhinos. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) stated in its report from 2013 that in China at least several thousand tigers were kept in more than one hundred farms across the country. According to the organisation's information, the import of rhinos that were to be sent back to the farms also started.
A kilogram of rhino horn powder on the black market now costs $80,000. This is twice as much as gold or cocaine
On the day following the publication of the legalisation, the Chinese spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Lu Kang, maintained Beijing's position, claiming that the reversal of the ban was in line with "reasonable needs of reality".
“It’s a devastating decision,” the WWF’s director of wildlife policy, Leigh Henry, told The New York Times. “WWF urgently calls on China to maintain the ban on tiger bone and rhino horn trade which has been so critical in conserving these iconic species. This should be expanded to cover trade in all tiger parts and products.”