TCM - good for you and good for wildlife

For centuries, bear bile, leopard bones, pangolin scales, and many other wildlife products have been used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to treat various ailments. Consumers believe that the body parts of these animals carry certain healing properties. This has in turn increased the demand for wildlife products, fuelling a spike in illegal hunting and trade of these species, putting them at risk of becoming extinct. 

Over the years, however, medical advancements in TCM coupled with laws to protect endangered wildlife from illegal hunting and trade have led to more TCM practitioners choosing  alternative herbal treatments over wildlife products. This has allowed people to continue to receive treatment in an ethical and sustainable way that keeps wildlife safe from poaching and illegal trade.

What's next

These stories are the first in a series about wildlife conservation. Over the next two years, on World Wildlife Day in March, we will be delving into the issues of human-wildlife conflict and community conservation. 

Interested? Sign up here and we’ll also share with you other compelling stories of people doing good from across Asia!

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