There has been a big research operation in China to find the cause of the coronavirus. After initially resting towards snakes and bats, the consensus is reaching towards the pangolin as an intermediate host that spread the disease to humans.
Notably, the Pangolin is the most heavily poached animal in China. It is used for consumption as well as medicine. The Chinese believe it to have therapeutic qualities that can increase lactation and cure impotence.
Its scales are used in medicines. About one million pangolins are estimated to have been poached in the last decade, and 20 tonnes of pangolins and their parts are trafficked internationally every year, according to the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC. Now, the Chinese will be according special protection to the animal to stop this illegal trade in its numbers.
HOW WILL CHINA PROTECT PANGOLINS?
This weekend, China announced to upgrade all species of the pangolin from second-class to first-class protected animals considering their rapidly decreasing numbers due to overhunting and habitat destruction, state-run Global Times reported on Saturday. Other first-class protected animals include giant pandas, Tibetan antelopes, and red-crowned cranes. There have been widely successful reports proving that scientifically the pangolin has no medicinal qualities.
It is another one of the widely held beliefs in China which led to the hunting of the animal. Sun Quanhui, a scientist had this to say –
“There is no scientific evidence in modern medicine to show that pangolin scales have certain therapeutic or health benefits.”
“Based on our practice in giant panda protection, protecting habitats, cracking down on poaching and reducing consumption are the most effective ways to protect pangolins,” he said.
This will hopefully improve the situation in China. The deteriorating numbers of pangolins told a distressing story. Things need to be brought under control through the intervention of authorities.