China has defended its use of wild animals in what it calls'traditional medicine'.
In China the law on wild animals being used in traditional medicine is complex. In 1993 the Chinese government banned the use of Rhino horns and Tiger horns. Despite the ban, the illegal trade still continues. However, the Chinese government does not go far enough to stop wild animals being used in medicines. For example, it is totally legal in China that Tiger farms exist.
And, many Tiger farms do exist in China. These farms are damaging for two reasons. The first is that it puts pressure on an already endangered species. And secondly, the issue of animal rights. The Tigers of these farms are not being breed and do not exist to help preserve the species. They exist to use Tiger bones in things such as wine, Tiger wine and their skins are used for rugs.
These farms do not only encourage the abuse and killing of Tigers, they are thought to also contribute to the traditional medicine industry in China. Meaning that parts of these Tigers from Tiger farms end up in medicine.
The Chinese government have said that they will be 'substituting' Tiger products. The head of China's environment and resources protection committee said:
"If in the future original products from wild animals are all substituted, our Chinese medicine perhaps won't be of any use anymore. This issue needs to be discussed by us Chinese people,"
Wildlife laws in China have banned the use of wild animals being used in things such as medicine. However, the gesture is meaningless. The law useless. There is no punishment for those who violate such laws. Tiger farms exist. In theory, wild animals, such as Tigers are banned from being used in China. In practice though, wild animals, including Tigers are still used and exploited.