China Announces Its Largest-Ever Seizure Of Trafficked Pangolin Scales

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by AfricaHunting.com, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    An undated photo, released Wednesday, shows Shanghai customs officers checking pangolin scales at a port in Shanghai. Chinese customs seized over three tonnes of pangolin scales, state media said, in the country's biggest-ever smuggling case involving the animal parts.

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    STR/AFP/Getty Images
    Chinese officials have seized 3.1 tonnes (more than 3.4 tons) of illegally trafficked pangolin scales from a port in Shanghai, according to state media.

    It's the largest such seizure China has ever made, Xinhua News Agency reports.

    Pangolins are the world's most widely trafficked mammals — their meat is a delicacy and their scales are used in traditional Chinese medicine.

    All eight species of pangolin are facing extinction.

    "The pangolin is about the size of a raccoon and looks like an artichoke with legs," NPR's Jackie Northam wrote last year. "Its head and body are covered with an armor of thorny scales, giving it the appearance of a reptile. When a pangolin is scared, it curls up into a tight ball."

    This fall, commercial trade of the pangolin was "officially banned by the international body responsible for regulating the international trade of endangered species," as NPR's Rebecca Hersher reported.

    Pangolins are now covered by "the strictest protections available under international law," she writes.

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    A game reserve guide in Zimbabwe holds a female pangolin at Wild Is Life animal sanctuary outside Harare on Sept. 22. Pangolins are the world's most heavily trafficked mammal; demand for pangolin meat and body parts is driving the secretive scaly ant-eating mammals to near extinction.

    Jekesai Njikizana/AFP/Getty Images
    Rebecca continued:

    "In a statement following news of the international commercial ban, Elly Pepper, the deputy director of the Natural Resource Defense Council's wildlife trade initiative, wrote that the trade ban would 'give the world's most-trafficked mammal a fighting chance at survival.' "

    The pangolin scales seized in Shanghai were mixed in with wood products shipped from Nigeria, Phys.org reports, citing state broadcaster CCTV.

    The illicit animal parts were discovered on Dec. 10, the South China Morning Post reports, and authorities accuse the suspects of smuggling pangolin scales from Africa to China since 2015.

    Approximately 5,000 to 7,500 pangolins must have been killed to produce the more than 3 tons of pangolin scales, Xinhua reports.

    Based on reported black-market prices for the scales, the seized scales would have been worth more than $2 million, Phys.org says.

    "The scales are nothing more than keratin, the same substance that makes up fingernails," the science news service writes. "Yet it has been falsely touted as a cure for multiple ailments, including cancer, among some practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine."



    Source: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-...st-ever-seizure-of-trafficked-pangolin-scales
     

  2. Clayton

    Clayton AH Fanatic

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    This is good. Now if they could only catch & convict everyone involved in just this one event, it would be better.

    Thanks for posting this.
     

  3. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH Legend

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    Really sickening.
     

  4. dory

    dory AH Fanatic

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    Makes you sick alright .
    The human race is suposed to be an intelligent lot ?
    I really wonder at times .
     

  5. Lrntolive

    Lrntolive AH Fanatic

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    What they should do is sell all of them at government auction, flood the market with the scales and use/donate the money for anti poaching in Africa. The poor creatures have already died. At least make sure they didn't die in vain.
     

  6. Ryan

    Ryan AH Enthusiast

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    In this circumstance it doesn't add up. It wouldn't flood the market with that large of a population of people interested. It would merely satisfy a want for a moment in time. That's the tough part of the equation.
     

  7. Lrntolive

    Lrntolive AH Fanatic

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    Yes, but better than letting all of that go to waste by burning or whatever they plan to do. Use the money generated for something good.
     
    Baldi59 likes this.

  8. Ryan

    Ryan AH Enthusiast

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    I disagree. This isn't the same as the legally found ivory in parks and such that was banned from sale years ago. In that case the ivory was well documented and the money would be used for conservation. The animals here were taken illegally and have already been wasted by depleting the population. By still selling the parts of the illegally taken animal it would simply be letting the buyers know that the product can be obtained even if done illegally.
     

  9. Baldi59

    Baldi59 AH Member

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    Yes very Noble,sorry to be skeptic,but we all know that the protection already offered to Rhino is inedequate how on earth are African States going protect a less popular species as the pangolin etc from facing complete extinction.Altough it smacks of to little to late good PRO work by the Chinese authorities let's hope there is a reputable news agency that will cover the destruction or the LEGAL disposal of the said Pangolin Scales by the authorities.We live in hope.Generally a sad state of affairs.
     

  10. Ryan

    Ryan AH Enthusiast

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    I agree with you Baldi59.I'm just as skeptical and frustrated. I don't think African countries can adequately protect them. But in this case China appears to be doing what they can by enforcing the laws on their side. This action, in my opinion and theirs, helps more than letting the scales be sold. That's all it boils down to here.
     

  11. Lrntolive

    Lrntolive AH Fanatic

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    That doesn't make any sense to me. The poachers and illegal traders will continue in their acts whether or not these captured scales are destroyed or sold. The only difference is that some funds could be gained and provided to stopping or catching the poachers in the future. Criminals won't stop until caught. You'll basically throw away an opportunity to gain some funds to stop poachers and illegal traffickers.
     

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