The World Animal Protection has called for a complete ban on wildlife use in traditional medicine as one of the ways to help save pangolins from extinction.
According to a statement, the World Animal Protection said as pangolins remain the most trafficked mammal in the world surpassing elephants and rhinos. More than a million pangolins are believed to have been killed in the last decade alone and traded primarily for traditional medicine,” said Edith Kabesiime, the Campaigns Manager at World Animal Protection.
Quoting the organization’s report titled ‘Suffering at scale – pangolin poaching for the traditional medicine trade’, Kabesiime said between 2010 and 2015, there were 1270 pangolin seizures in 67 countries and territories around the world involving 120 tonnes of body parts, whole animals and an additional 46,000 individual carcasses.
“They are poached for their scales and meat for use in traditional medicines even though there is no scientific proof that their body parts have any medicinal value.”
She noted that the report documents the cruel and gruesome ways pangolins are poached and slaughtered for their scales and meat.
“Pangolins endure unimaginable suffering as they are smoked and dragged out of their trees and burrows, bludgeoned with clubs and arrows and then boiled, sometimes alive for their scales. The process of digging out can last hours, subjecting the animals to many hours of stress and terror,” the World Animal Protection said.
The organization however noted that to combat this global trade of pangolin bodies and scales, there is need for strong enforcement of national and international laws protecting them.
“There is need for investment in and promotion of herbal and synthetic medicine but also combined efforts by governments, NGOs and traditional medicine practitioners,” the World Animal Protection said.
The organization also says there is need for support to alternative livelihoods and education within communities where Pangolins exist.
“Removal of pangolins from the definitive traditional medicine handbook for everyone working in the industry will greatly help in protecting the animals.”