International Society For Endangered Cats

A Voice For The Wild Cats of the World

College of Chinese Medicine Partners with World Wildlife Fund

Though herbal remedies may be gentler on the human body than Western pharmaceuticals, in many cases they pose an environmental impact. Some ancient Chinese remedies formerly incorporated ingredients taken from tigers and other endangered wildlife.

Since the China tiger trade ban in 1993, tigers have been officially banned from use in Chinese medicine. However, some commercial interests and tiger farms assert that tiger parts are necessary ingredients for Chinese medicine, and seek to re-open the tiger trade.

San Francisco’s American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM), working with the World Wildlife Fund, has developed a public outreach initiative on endangered species used in traditional Chinese medicine, and represents an important conservation milestone. Their collaboration has sent a strong message to the world: the established Chinese medicine communities – in China and abroad – want to uphold the Tiger Trade Ban, and they do not need these gravely endangered cats to save lives.

The partnership began in 1998, when the college first collaborated between the conservation community and traditional Chines medicine practitioners. ACTCM’s efforts have also involved the U.S Fish and Wildlife Fund, the World Bank, and the council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM). Just last year ACTCM played a key role in CCAOM’s passage of a resolution calling for the end of the use of tiger parts in any remedies, as well as a commitment of finding ways too ensure greater sustainability of Chinese herbal medicine.

Source: IUCN/SSC Cat News Spring 2011

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