Monday, June 15, 2020

Pangolin, animal linked to coronavirus, removed from China's list of traditional medicines

Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY
,USA TODAY•June 15, 2020

China has officially removed pangolin scales from its 2020 list of approved ingredients used in traditional Chinese medicine, multiple media outlets report.

According to the country’s state-run media, the latest version of Chinese Pharmacopoeia for 2020 no longer includes the pangolin, which most scientists say may have transmitted the coronavirus from bats to humans as an intermediary animal.


The armadillo-like animal is protected under international law, but they’re still widely trafficked as “one of the most illegally traded mammals on the planet,” says the Environmental Investigations Agency, with an estimated 1 million sold in the past 15 years.

Just last year in Zhejiang, authorities arrested 18 smugglers and confiscated 23.1 tons of pangolin scales sourced from an estimated 50,000 creatures, according to Chinese state media.

Zhou Jinfeng, secretary-general of the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Fund, said China's native pangolins have been all but wiped out. Over the past five years, Zhou and volunteers found only five where hundreds of thousands lived just three decades ago.


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