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Thread: Endangered Species in TCM

  1. #1
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    Endangered Species in TCM

    More on this to come...
    19 bears rescued from bear bile farm in Vietnam
    By MARGIE MASON
    The Associated Press
    Friday, January 22, 2010; 10:56 AM

    TAN UYEN, Vietnam -- The three tractor-trailer containers sat in a row, divided with metal partitions into 19 tiny, sweltering cells.

    Massive claws and furry black noses poked between the iron bars: 19 rare Asiatic moon bears awaiting their next gall bladder milking. Their bile is a coveted traditional medicine ingredient used to treat everything from hemorrhoids to epilepsy.

    Some paced nervously inside the cages, panting and foaming at the mouth with wild bloodshot eyes. Others laid in their urine and feces, resting on the cool concrete floor. They devoured the bananas and chunks of watermelon - including the rinds - offered to them, a welcome treat from their usual diet of rice gruel.

    The bears were found at an illegal Taiwanese-owned operation in southern Vietnam. On Friday, four days after being hoisted onto tractor trailers and driven 1,240 miles (2,000 kilometers) north, they reached a new home with grass and tire swings at a rescue center about two hours outside of Hanoi, the capital.

    The newly rescued bears - two of them missing limbs and one blind - were sedated and removed one-by-one from their tiny cages Friday at Tam Dao National Park. They are joining 29 bears already at the rescue center.

    Ultrasound tests found evidence of thickened gall bladders, a telltale sign of milking, said Animals Asia veterinarian Heather Bacon. She said some may need to have the organ removed because of extensive damage.

    Many of the black bears, some standing 6 feet (1.8 meters) tall on their hind legs and weighing 330 pounds (150 kilograms), have been caged since being snatched from the wild as cubs up to seven years ago, said Tuan Bendixsen of Animals Asia Foundation in Vietnam, which rescued the bears this week.

    Bear bile has been used for thousands of years in Asia to treat fevers, pain, inflammation and many other ailments. In the 1980s, China began promoting bear farms as a way to discourage poaching. The bears were housed in small cages, and the green bitter fluid was sucked from their gall bladders using crude catheters, sometimes creating pus-filled abscesses or internal bile leakage. Many bears die slowly from infections or liver ailments, including cancer.

    The idea caught on in Vietnam and elsewhere as demand grew alongside the region's increasing wealth. Bear bile products are also illegally smuggled into Chinatowns worldwide. An informal survey by the World Society for the Protection of Animals found 75 percent of stores visited in Japan selling bear bile products, followed by 42 percent in South Korea. In the U.S. and Canada, it was about 15 percent.

    Bear bile harvesting remains legal in China, where the government says 7,000 bears are milked on about 250 farms, though animal welfare groups say the real number could be double that. Demand for illegal wild bear bile, believed to be more potent, is also increasing, they say.

    Amid international pressure, Vietnam outlawed the milking practice in 2005, and some 4,000 bears in captivity were implanted with microchips to help identify any new bears added illegally. Owners were warned not to tap them for bile. But the practice continues, and a black market thrives.

    "We want this industry to end. Government has decided to phase this out, and we understand it's going to take time," said Chris Gee from the World Society for the Protection of Animals in England. "Across the whole of Asia there's probably 20,000 bears on bear farms."

    Last year, a farm in northern Vietnam was raided for selling bile to busloads of South Koreans, who watched it being extracted as part of their sightseeing tours. Some of the farms in Vietnam are owned by South Koreans and Taiwanese.

    "They're more organized and bigger. They're run like a business now," said Bendixsen. "It's part of a package tour."

    Bear bile contains a high concentration of ursodeoxycholic acid. A synthetic version is sold as a pill and used in Western medicine for treating gall stones and liver ailments.

    The pill is sold in China but cannot be used in traditional medicine because it is not derived from a natural source.

    In a paper published last year, Yibin Feng from the School of Chinese Medicine at the University of Hong Kong suggested herbal substitutes that produce the same healing elements for various ailments could replace bear bile.

    Another option is to use bile taken from slaughtered pigs or rabbits, which contains lower concentrations of ursodeoxycholic acid, or use artificial bear bile, which has a similar chemical makeup and produces the same medicinal effects.

    "We found some animal bile and plants have better effects than bear bile in some diseases," Feng said. "Given all these, people in China should accept these alternatives. Of course, some people in mainland insist that no matter how close those substitutes can be, it is still not as good as the real ones."

    The moon bears, named for the tan crescent-shape marking across their chests, will remain in quarantine for 45 days. They will then be moved to a building with large living cells where they will learn to mingle with other bears, before moving to a bear house where they can play outside in an enclosure with trees, grass, tunnels and swings.

    They'll also be spoiled with dollops of honey and peanut butter.
    Gene Ching
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    You beat me to it... Another is rhinos. Just saw a tearjerker on Animal planet this month.
    "The true meaning of a given movement in a form is not its application, but rather the unlimited potential of the mind to provide muscular and skeletal support for that movement." Gregory Fong

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    that stuff is so sad.
    For whoso comes amongst many shall one day find that no one man is by so far the mightiest of all.

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    Rhinos

    Gene Ching
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    The Tiger Claw Foundation

    Throughout 2010, the Year of the Tiger, the Tiger Claw Foundation will be supporting WildAid’s efforts to protect wild tigers.

    Tiger Claw’s KungFuMagazine.com Championship II and Shark City Nationals are holding a special showcase competition for the WildAid Tiger Champion. For details, click here. Tiger Claw’s KungFuMagazine.com Championship II and Shark City Nationals are June 12, 2010 in San Jose, CA.

    For more on WildAid, click here.
    Gene Ching
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    Busted!

    Hopefully by now you've seen our WildAid Tiger Champion division, for our upcoming Tiger Claw's KungFuMagazine.com Championships II. I hope you can lend your support to our efforts.

    Meanwhile, here's to the ongoing efforts of Operation Tram and CITES.
    Smuggled wildlife: Traditional healers busted
    March 05 2010 at 04:35PM
    by Dave Clark

    Police in 18 countries carried out a month-long coordinated mission against smuggled plant and animal parts used in various traditional forms of medicine, Interpol and national officers said Friday.

    During the sweep, illegal products with a retail value of 10-million euros (about R102.2-million) were seized, the international law enforcement agency said.

    "National wildlife enforcement authorities, police, customs and specialised units from 18 countries across all five continents worked together as part of Operation Tram which ran from 1 to 28 February," Interpol said.

    British police targeted a business selling medicine from the Chinese tradition, but an Interpol spokeswoman told AFP the global operation was against all use of endangered species in cures from various cultures.

    For centuries, traditional Chinese healers have used tiger bone to treat arthritis, rhinoceros horn for fevers and convulsions and bear bile to treat various infections, thus encouraging poachers to hunt rare animals.

    In Rome, Italian forest rangers said they had seized 30 000 products containing wildlife worth about one million euros after checking more than 3 000 individuals, planes, baggage, and container ships.

    Arrest warrants were issued against 40 individuals or companies.

    "We noticed there is great deal of illegal traffic in Italy," the director of Interpol operations in Italy Colonel Giuseppe Verrocchi told AFP, adding that parts of tiger, bear and pangolin - an ant-eating mammal - and rare plants were seized.

    "The products were imported directly from India, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Vietnam through the ports of Mestre, Trieste and Naples and Milan airport," an Italian statement said.

    In London, the Metropolitan Police said officers had raided a Chinese traditional medicine business and found what seem to be plant species protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

    "Most traditional Chinese medicines are perfectly legal. However, a small number of people continue to trade in illegal products containing endangered species," said Sergeant Ian Knox from the force's wildlife crime unit.

    "This trade threatens some of the world's most iconic species, and it will continue as long as the demand exists," he added.

    A director of the company that owns the raided properties will be questioned once the plants have been analysed, Scotland Yard said.

    The British police have been working against the use of illegal animal and plant products in traditional Chinese medicine since 1995 under its Operation Charm, and joined Interpol's Operation Tram last month.

    Police in Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Georgia, India, Italy, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Turkey and Zimbabwe also took part in the Tram operation.

    "The important cultural, historical and religious values of traditional medicines is recognised by the law enforcement community," said senior British officer Chief Constable Richard Crompton, according to the statement.

    "However, the increased use of endangered species in medicines can no longer be tolerated as it places extreme pressure on their very survival," he warned.

    According to Interpol, Operation Tram "revealed a large amount of medicines either containing or marketing the use of illegal ingredients such as tiger, bear and rhinoceros." - Sapa-AFP
    WWF hails Interpol efforts to curb illegal wildlife trade
    Posted on 05 March 2010

    Demand for tiger body parts used in traditional Chinese medicine and habitat fragmentation from unsustainable regional infrastructure development have driven the decline of the region’s Indochinese tiger population.
    Related links

    WWF hails the efforts of a recent worldwide Interpol operation to curb the illegal trade in traditional medicines containing endangered animal and plant species.

    'Given that this crosses many borders, co-ordinating effective efforts to tackle the illegal trade in wildlife is not easy,' said WWF-UK's wildilfe trade advisor, Heather Sohl. "It's great to see 18 countries all working simultaneously to investigate and curtail the trade in traditional medicines containing threatened species. This can be a blueprint for future action on other areas of illicit wildlife trade too.'

    The bust comes as WWF is preparing to call on countries which are members of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to improve law enforcement, using intelligence-led, coordinated and cross-border approaches, to stop the illegal wildlife trade, when they meet in Doha, Qatar from 13 to 25 March.

    'Such measures will help protect some of our most valued and yet threatened species such as tigers, rhino and elephants,' Sohl said.

    Interpol conducted a month-long investigation into the illegal trade in traditional medicines containing protected wildlife products across 18 countries, according to its website. The investigationresulted in a series of arrests worldwide and the seizure of thousands of illegal medicines worth more than EUR 10 million.

    For more details about the operation, which were released today, see http://www.interpol.int/Public/ICPO/...2010/PR014.asp
    Gene Ching
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    11 Siberians dead

    Right now, China is discussing lifting the ban on tiger trade and allowing tiger farms. Of course, this would be an open invitation for poachers. This death at the zoo raises suspicions.

    Page last updated at 08:03 GMT, Friday, 12 March 2010
    Eleven rare Siberian tigers die at Chinese zoo
    By Michael Bristow
    BBC News, Beijing

    Eleven rare Siberian tigers have died over the last three months at a zoo in north-eastern China.

    The local authorities believe that a lack of food contributed to their deaths, according to media reports.

    The news is bound to raise concerns about the treatment of captive tigers in China, which is this year celebrating the year of the tiger.

    China has only about 50 tigers left in the wild, but it has about 5,000 in captivity.

    The tigers died at the Shenyang Forest Wild Animal Zoo in Liaoning Province. That fact was confirmed by a worker at the zoo.

    But there are discrepancies about how they died.

    A local wildlife protection official, Liu Xiaoqiang, is reported to have said that malnutrition was one cause.

    The tigers were apparently fed cheap chicken bones.

    Mr Liu also said that the tigers had been kept in very small cages, restricting their movement and lowering their resistance to disease.

    A manager at the zoo, which is currently closed, said the animals simply died of various diseases.

    But however the tigers died, their deaths will inevitably raise questions about how the animals are treated in China.

    Animal campaign groups say there is simply not enough protection for tigers held in the country's zoos and farms.

    A spokesman for the International Fund for Animal Welfare in Beijing said: "[The government has] given too many credentials to groups that do not have the capability of taking care of these animals."

    Tiger trade

    In China there is also still a trade in tiger parts, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine.

    They are used to treat rheumatism and to strengthen bones.

    The BBC recently found that the Siberia Tiger Park, based in Heilongjiang Province in the northeast of China, is selling a "tiger bone wine" that contains three small tiger bones.

    These issues have been discussed for some time, both inside and outside China, but they are being given extra prominence this year - because this year is the year of the tiger.
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  8. #8
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    dear lord,

    there is no reason to use Tiger Bone or Tiger ***** when you can get the same actions from horses, boars, and other domesticated or larger populated wild animals.

    pretty much looking to use the calcium matrix in the bones.

    You can get that from other sources.
    Mouth Boxers have not the testicular nor the spinal fortitude to be known.
    Hence they hide rather than be known as adults.

  9. #9
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    backassward chicoms

    So let me get this right. A zoo starves 13 Siberians, which attracts international outrage and accusations of tiger harvesting. China loses a ton of face on their already sketchy animal conservation stance. So the solution is to pay off the zoo?
    China investigating zoo over dead tigers
    (AFP) – 14 hours ago

    BEIJING — Authorities are investigating a Chinese zoo where three dozen animals including 13 rare Siberian tigers died recently, amid charges it was harvesting their parts, state media said Monday.

    The probe of the zoo in the northeastern city of Shenyang will look at whether the animal parts were being used as ingredients in Chinese medicine and other products, Xinhua news agency said.

    China banned the international trade in tiger bones and related products in 1993, and is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which also bars such trade.

    But such transactions exist as many tiger parts, such as *****es and bones, are commonly believed to increase sexual potency or cure certain illnesses.

    Xinhua quoted a manager at the Shenyang Forest Wildlife Zoo as saying that the carcasses of the dead tigers, 11 of which starved to death and two of which were shot after mauling a worker, have been cut up and put in cold storage.

    But another unnamed zoo worker said the bones had been used to make tiger-bone liquor that was used to "serve important guests".

    The deaths, which came to light as China celebrates the Lunar Year of the Tiger, have been blamed on a combination of inadequate funding, an unusually cold winter and poor general conditions at the facility, the China Daily said.

    Zoo workers fed the tigers cheap chicken bones in recent months as funding dried up. On Sunday, the Shenyang government announced that it had allocated one million dollars to save surviving animals and fund the zoo.

    Besides the tigers, 22 other animals have died, including rare species that are protected in China, among them a red-crowned crane, four stump-tailed macaques, and one brown bear.

    The Shenyang government has a 15 percent share in the zoo, which is mainly privately owned.

    China says it has nearly 6,000 tigers in captivity, but just 50 to 60 are left in the wild, including about 20 wild Siberian tigers.

    In the 1980s, China set up tiger farms to try to preserve the big cats, intending to release some into the wild. But conservation groups say the farms are used to harvest ingredients for traditional Chinese medicine.
    Source: Zoo starved tigers to ransom govt
    By Zuo Likun (chinadaily.com.cn)
    Updated: 2010-03-15 13:38

    Eleven Siberian tigers that died at a strike-plagued private zoo were “intentionally starved to hold the government to ransom,” a source told the Nanfang Daily.

    Initial disbelief stirred up into public outrage after media reports over the weekend revealed that eleven Siberian tigers have been starved to death in the past three months at the private-holding Shenyang Forest Wildlife Zoo in northeast China.

    The zoo was forced to close last November after two tigers were shot dead in an accident and has been plagued by strikes over back pay. The anonymous insider said the zoo staff’s salaries had been delayed for 18 months.

    The zoo’s annual revenue, largely from ticket fees during the six-month peak seasons, averages about 12 to 20 million yuan ($1.8 to 2.9 million). That sum, coupled with a government subsidy of 2 million yuan ($293,000) each year, couldn’t have left the zoo in red, the source said.

    “It can’t go so far as to delayed payments and animal starvation. Now a few tigers are starved, which is simply a hijack to ransom the government for the zoo’s debts,” said the source.

    The problem was echoed by the zoo’s deputy Party secretary Wu Xi.

    “The feedstuff generally costs about 10 million yuan ($1.5 million) a year. But the boss uses the revenues to pay debts and salaries, and the money actually spent on the wild animals was less than 8 million yuan ($1.2 million),” Wu said.

    The zoo’s boss Yang Zhenhua showed up on Sunday at the company’s dining hall for a ten-minute staff meeting, assuring employees’payments and pleading the workers go back to their jobs.

    So far, a probe into the tiger deaths is underway, while animal experts have been called in to ensure the remaining animals’health. The Shenyang municipal government has allocated 7 million yuan ($1.02 million) for the rescue work, two million of which will be used to resume the zoo’s operation.
    Gene Ching
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    I knew this topic would heat up this year

    The shame is that we only think about it in Tiger years. Nevertheless, we're doing our part. Support our WildAid Tiger Championship this year.

    Endangered Species Perish While Governments Debate Trade Rules
    DOHA, Qatar, March 15, 2010 (ENS) - The future of the world's remaining tigers, elephants, rhinos, and polar bears, bluefin tuna, sharks, and coral as well as rosewood, mahogany, and holywood will be decided over the next 10 days by delegates from 175 countries meeting in Doha.

    The delegates represent countries that are Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, CITES. They meet only once every three years to decide trade rules for animals and plants at risk of extinction due commercial trade.

    The CITES treaty offers varying degrees of protection to some 34,000 species of animals and plants in trade, through a system of permits and certificates.

    Species are included in one of three lists - Appendix I allows no commercial trade, Appendix II allows trade by permit, and Appendix III lists species that are protected in at least one country, which has asked other CITES Parties for help in controlling the trade.

    The year 2010 marks the International Year of Biodiversity and the role of CITES in regulating the global trade in plant and animal species is viewed as central to promoting the dual goals of conservation and sustainable use.

    In his welcoming remarks to CITES delegates, Qatar's Environment Minister Abdullah bin Aaboud al-Midhad, highlighted the success story of the Arabian oryx, which was extinct in the wild by the early 1970s.

    "Qatar has had a great role in keeping some creatures that are endangered to be extinct, including the Arabian oryx," said al-Midhad. "It was resettled in natural reserves, and now it is deemed to be the biggest oryx herd in the Arab world." More than 1,300 oryx are now in existence, he said, and Qatar has given animals from this herd to "neighboring and friendly countries."

    After May 1, CITES will have a new leader. After 10 years in the job, Secretary-General Willem Wijnstekers will retire to be replaced by John Scanlon, a top advisor at the United Nations Environment Programme. An Australian national, Scanlon has served in environmental law, policy and management at national and international levels.

    In his opening remarks to the delegates, Wijnstekers pointed out that the CITES budget of $5 to $6 million is not enough to cover the increasing number of activities and results that Parties and others expect from CITES.


    "In the absence of necessary core funding," Wijnstekers said, "CITES will not be able to fully exploit its great potential and we seriously risk to let down not only the many animal and plant species we appear to attach such great importance to, but we also risk to let down the developing world in its struggle to conserve wildlife from the many threats it faces."

    In Doha, more than 42 proposals are on the table, indicating a high level of international concern about the accelerating destruction of the world's biological diversity and the potential impacts of climate change on the biological resources of the planet.

    The perilous situation of the world's 3,200 remaining wild tigers is in the spotlight as 2010 is the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese lunar calendar.

    The CITES Secretariat and the international policing agency, INTERPOL, are asking countries to submit information about crimes against tigers, so that they can be analyzed and effective anti-poaching strategies developed.

    In the early 1900s, tigers were found throughout Asia and numbered over 100,000. In the 1970s, the world woke up to the fact that wild tigers were disappearing. Between the 1970s and 2010, governments and conservationists spent tens of millions of dollars trying to save tigers in the wild and millions continue to be spent. But wild tigers are still falling to poachers.

    "If we use tiger numbers as a performance indicator," says CITES Secretary-General Willem Wijnstekers, "then we must admit that we have failed miserably and that we are continuing to fail. How have we let this happen?"

    "Although the tiger has been prized throughout history, and is a symbol of incredible importance in many cultures and religions, it is now literally on the verge of extinction," Wijnstekers said. "2010 is the Chinese Year of the Tiger and the International Year of Biodiversity; this must be the year in which we reverse the trend. If we don't, it will be to our everlasting shame."

    Tigers are today primarily poached for their skins but almost every part of a tiger's body can be used for decorative or traditional medicinal purposes. Most tigers are now restricted to small pockets of habitat, with several geographical populations teetering on the brink of extinction.

    At a symposium in Beijing on Friday, the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies, WFCMS, issued a statement urging its members not to use tiger bone or any other parts from endangered wildlife.

    "Tiger conservation has become a political issue in the world. Therefore, it's necessary for the traditional Chinese medicine industry to support the conservation of endangered species, including tigers," said Huang Jianyin, the federation's deputy secretary.

    The WFCMS is an international academic organization based in Beijing, with 195 member organizations in 57 nations where traditional Chinese medicine is used.

    In its statement, the federation said some of the claimed medicinal benefits of tiger bone have no basis. The use of tiger bones was removed from the traditional Chinese medicine pharmacopeia in 1993, when China first introduced a domestic ban on tiger trade. China is among the 175 countries that are Parties to the CITES treaty.

    As an international traditional Chinese academic organization, the WFCMS said it has a duty to research the conservation of endangered species, including tigers. "We will ask our members not to use endangered wildlife in traditional Chinese medicine, and reduce the misunderstanding and bias of the international community," said Huang.

    "CITES governments should be encouraged by this statement and use the opportunity they have at this meeting to pass measures, that if properly enforced, can help put an end to tiger trade," said Dr. Colman O'Criodain, wildlife trade analyst, WWF International.

    "The societies' public declaration is a clear signal that the traditional Chinese medicinal community is now backing efforts to secure a future for wild tigers," said Professor Xu Hongfa, head of the wildlife monitoring network TRAFFIC in China.

    WWF and TRAFFIC are calling for a permanent ban on all trade in tiger parts and products, and for a curtailment of commercial captive breeding operations.
    continued next post
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    continued from previous post
    Delegates to the CITES meeting also will review progress in the conservation of the great apes, Asian big cats, and the Tibetan antelope.

    The escalation of rhino poaching and strategies for fighting criminal networks trading in their horns in parts of Africa and Asia is also on the CITES agenda.

    In the 1990s, rhino numbers grew in many of its range states, but in the mid-2000s, rumors emerged that rhinoceros horn could stave off cancer or halt its spread. The CITES Secretariat says that rhinos in India, South Africa, Nepal and Zimbabwe now appear to be killed by organized crime groups that control the smuggling of rhino horns to the Asian Far East, where they are sold on the black market for thousands of dollars.

    "The 'shoot to kill' policy adopted by some governments in Africa does not seem to be deterring poachers and one national park store was even robbed at gunpoint, so that horns removed by park staff from rhinos that had died naturally could be stolen," the Secretariat said.

    Elephant poaching and the ivory trade will occupy the delegates once again. At the last CITES conference in 2007, Parties agreed to a nine-year moratorium on any further trade in ivory. Yet proposals have been submitted from Tanzania and Zambia seeking permission for a one-time sale of 112 tons of ivory.

    With or without permission, these two countries are hoping to open the door for future ivory trade by 'down-listing' their elephant populations from Appendix I to Appendix II.

    At the same time, says the International Fund for Animal Welfare, there has been an escalation in seizures of illegal ivory since the last meeting, and an increase in poaching of elephants in central and eastern Africa.

    "To permit any step towards further trade in ivory makes no sense whatsoever," said IFAW's Jason Bell-Leask. "It flies in the face of every basic conservation principle and is contrary to the agreement made at the last meeting."

    The African Elephant Coalition of 23 African elephant range countries opposes the proposals for the one-time sales. This group insists that the nine-year ivory trade moratorium agreed in 2007 provides all African range states the opportunity to cooperatively secure elephants in their habitats and assess the impacts of the previous legal sales.

    Marine species are also high on the CITES agenda this year.

    "CITES will address a number of critical issues relating to the international trade of species, but many will focus on marine issues," says Simon Stuart, chair of International Union for the Conservation of Nature, IUCN, Species Survival Commission. "The number of marine species affected by illegal, unmanaged and unreported fishing, as well as bycatch, is contributing to many species such as sharks and commercial fish becoming threatened."

    Delegates will discuss whether or not to place a ban on international trade in the commercially valuable Atlantic bluefin tuna. The large fish is valued in the lucrative sushi trade, one was sold in January for over $120,000, but overfishing is threatening the species.

    All 27 European Union member states agreed last week to support a ban on the bluefin tuna trade by placing the species on CITES Appendix I. The EU countries join a growing list of supporter, including the United States, but not Japan, where more than 80 percent of all bluefin tuna is consumed.

    Other species to be discussed include the spiny dogfish, which appears on fish and chips menus in the UK, and is threatened with over-exploitation. The fate of the porbeagle shark, again under threat from overfishing, will also be decided at CITES.

    "CITES COP15 will address a number of critical issues relating to the international trade of species, but many will focus on marine issues," says Simon Stuart, chair of IUCN's Species Survival Commission. "The number of marine species affected by illegal, unmanaged and unreported fishing, as well as bycatch, is contributing to many species such as sharks and commercial fish becoming threatened."

    A little-known Iranian salamander could become the first species protected by CITES because of e-commerce, a new threat to endangered wildlife.

    The Kaiser's spotted newt, found only in the Zagros Mountains of Iran, is considered Critically Endangered and is believed to number fewer than 1,000 mature wild individuals. Iran is proposing the amphibian for an Appendix I listing.

    The newt is sought as a pet by collectors and numbers have dwindled by more than 80 percent in recent years. In 2006, an investigation by TRAFFIC into the sale of Kaiser's spotted newts revealed 10 websites claiming to stock the species. One Ukrainian company claimed to have sold more than 200 wild-caught specimens in one year.

    "The Internet itself isn't the threat, but it's another way to market the product," said Ernie Cooper of TRAFFIC Canada. "The Kaiser's spotted newt, for example, is expensive and most people are not willing to pay US$300 for a salamander. But through the power of the Internet, tapping into the global market, you can find buyers."

    WWF and TRAFFIC are concerned about online trade in elephant ivory, and precious corals, including overharvested red and pink coral, currently proposed for listing on CITES Appendix II. All 31 species of red coral are vulnerable or endangered.

    Delegates to the CITES meeting will consider whether to take a more proactive approach to regulating the online trade in endangered species. This may include the creation of an international database of the trade, scientific research to gauge the correlation between wildlife loss and online trade, and closer collaboration with INTERPOL.
    Gene Ching
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    That's more like it

    Shut there asses down. Bust them for making tiger liquor. Feed them to the tigers.
    China zoo shut amid tiger parts harvest allegation
    (AFP) – 12 hours ago

    BEIJING — A zoo in northeastern China has been shut after a spate of Siberian tiger deaths as reports Wednesday said dozens of the dead animals may have been used to make a virility tonic.

    China's forestry ministry has ordered the zoo in the city of Shenyang to suspend operations and urged the local government to step up a probe into the deaths of 13 of the endangered tigers, the state-run Global Times reported.

    Authorities are investigating whether the Shenyang Forest Wildlife Zoo in Liaoning province was harvesting tiger parts to produce ingredients for the lucrative traditional Chinese medicine market, the Beijing News said.

    The problems at the zoo have thrown a spotlight in the current Year of the Tiger on the 6,000 captive tigers held in the nation's zoos and breeding farms.

    In the 1980s, China set up tiger farms to try to preserve the big cats, intending to release some into the wild, but conservation groups say many farms harvest ingredients for traditional medicine.

    The Beijing News quoted an unnamed zoo official saying between 40 and 50 tigers may have died at the privately operated zoo since 2000 and that it was an "open secret" that the zoo was producing tiger-bone liquor.

    Tiger parts, such as *****es and bones, have long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to increase sexual potency or treat certain illnesses.

    Troubles at the zoo first came to light in November last year when two hungry tigers were shot and killed as they mauled a zoo worker, who survived.

    Since then, 11 more tigers have died at the financially strapped zoo due to malnutrition and poor conditions, press reports have said.

    Large vats of tiger-bone liquor have been produced at the zoo since 2005 and were given to high-level officials of the provincial forestry, parks, and police bureaux, the Beijing News reported.

    China banned all trade in tiger bones and related products in 1993, and is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which also bars such sales.

    China is believed to have just 50 to 60 tigers left in the wild, including about 20 Siberian tigers.
    On the bright side...
    Good news from China as Chinese medicine societies reject use of tiger bones at CITES conference
    March 13, 7:16 PMAnimal Advocacy ExaminerP. Elizabeth Anderson

    The World Wildlife Fund, one of the largest conservation organizations in the world, and TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring network, are calling for a permanent ban on all trade in tiger parts and products, as well as a reduction in commercial captive breeding operations.

    Consequently, both welcomed the statement by the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (WFCMS) that urged its members not to use tiger bone or any other parts from endangered wildlife.

    The WFCMS is an international academic organization based in Beijing, with 195 member organizations spanning 57 nations where traditional Chinese medicine is used. It aims to promote the development of traditional Chinese medicine, which is a primary form of healthcare in China and achieving wide acceptance in the United States.

    The statement, made at a symposium Friday in Beijing, acknowledged that some of the claimed medicinal benefits of tiger bone have no basis.

    In 1993, the traditional Chinese medicine pharmacopeia removed the use of tiger bones and China introduced a domestic ban on tiger trade.

    Illegal trade in Asian big cat products is a key issue at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Conference of Parties meeting at Doha, Qatar. China is among the 175 countries that are signatories to this international treaty governing wildlife trade.

    This public declaration is a clear signal that the traditional Chinese medicinal community is backing efforts to secure a future for wild tigers.

    Huang Jianyin, deputy secretary of WFCMS said that traditional Chinese medicine practitioners should identify, use, and conduct research on effective substitutes for tiger products to improve the international image and status of traditional Chinese medicine and promote its use around the world.

    Wild tigers are especially in the spotlight as 2010 marks the celebration of the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese lunar calendar. This year presents a unique opportunity to galvanize international action to save this iconic species.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    The state that resembles a middle finger.
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    3,274
    Shut there asses down. Bust them for making tiger liquor. Feed them to the tigers
    .

    You know I've watched people die and not gave much thought to it. But I have a 'soft' spot in me for animals. I could watch a human be tortured and brutally beat. But if I saw someone doing it to an animal, i get pretty angry and p!ssed and wanted to do the same to them.

    Did you guys catch that video of the guy throwing the dog off the bridge in like germany or something? That's a prime example of what i'm talking about. The bridge wasn't high enough to kill it, just cause pain. One of those moments I would have liked to have been there and threw him off the bridge.
    Originally posted by Bawang
    i had an old taichi lady talk smack behind my back. i mean comon man, come on. if it was 200 years ago,, mebbe i wouldve smacked her and took all her monehs.
    Originally posted by Bawang
    i am manly and strong. do not insult me cracker.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
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    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
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    43,325

    WildAid

    I've been talking a lot about our work to help promote WildAid this year and I've been remiss about sharing the WildAid PSAs.

    WildAid PSA - Jackie Chan :30 Year of the Tiger (English)

    WildAid PSA - Jackie Chan: Tigers 2009 (English)
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
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    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
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    43,325

    Chimp Bones & Monkey Blood is a great title...

    ... but another horrific situation. The relationship of TCM and endangered species is truly tragic and really sullies the authenticity of TCM in our generation.
    Chimp Bones & Monkey Blood: Folk Medicine Threatens 101 Primates

    Last week’s meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) put the spotlight on marine species like the bluefin tuna and some endangered sharks, as the meeting failed to protect them from being overfished to extinction. But a new survey published in the UK journal Mammal Review reminds us that it’s not just marine animals that are endangered by humans, but also primates.

    The survey showed that despite CITES’ tight trade regulations for primates, more than a hundred primate species, from gorillas to monkeys to tiny lorises, are endangered by traditional medicine. The survey found that animals across the world were being hunted and killed for their perceived magical or medicinal values–of the 390 species studied, 101, or more than a quarter, are regularly killed for their body parts, with 47 species being used for their supposed medicinal properties, 34 for use in magical or religious practices, and 20 for both purposes [BBC].

    The survey found that people still use primate parts to treat a wide variety of ailments. In Bolivia, spider monkey parts are used to cure snake bites, spider bites, fever, coughs, colds, shoulder pain, and sleeping problems; in India, the survey found that many people believe that macaque blood is a cure for asthma. Other monkeys or lorises have their bones or skulls ground up into powder administered with tea, or have their gall bladders ingested or blood or fat used as ointments [BBC]. Monkeys are also valued in Sierra Leone, where a small piece of chimpanzee bone is tied to a child’s waist or wrist, as parents believe it will make the child stronger as he grows older.

    But even as primate body parts are considered valuable, local customs and beliefs can sometimes be instrumental in helping save the species, the survey found. In parts of Asia, Hindu beliefs help protect species such as long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) in Bali or grey langurs (Semnopithecus spp) in India. While in the village of Bossou in the Republic of Guinea, the Manon people consider chimpanzees sacred [BBC].

    Apart from the indiscriminate hunting, the survey noted that other pressures like loss of habitat, subsistence hunting, and trade in bush meat are also leading to the decline in primate numbers. Of the 101 primate species studied in detail, the researchers found that 12 were classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as being critically endangered, 23 as endangered, and 22 as vulnerable.

    The survey comes even as the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (WFCMS) issued a statement this month urging its members not to use tiger bone or any other parts from endangered wildlife, as they had no proven medicinal value. The use of tiger bones was also removed from the traditional Chinese medicine pharmacopeia in 1993 when China instituted a domestic trade ban on tiger parts. But despite, the internal ban, the survey notes, trade in tiger bones still continued.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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