EMS FOUNDATION APPEALS FOR AN END TO THE TRADE IN LION BONE
Zoonotic diseases, or those contracted by humans that originated in other species, account for a large share of human infectious illnesses. Mixing species of wild animals increases the risk of diseases mutating and growing more virulent as they spread in unregulated markets.
In cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong there is little sign of markets catering to gourmands seeking “ye Wei” or “wild flavours”. But in provincial cities and in some parts of Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and other South East Asian countries, those determined to eat such exotic dishes can find all sorts of creatures for sale: pangolins, badgers, salamanders scorpions, hedgehogs and wolf puppies.
Lion bones are being used as an alternative to tiger bones in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Tiger Bone Wine has been used in TCM for a thousand years or more for the treatment of rheumatism, although there are no known medicinal properties. Over a thousand lions are killed annually in South Africa for this trade. The trade is not regulated and as is explained in our letter to Minister Creecy there are no health and safety regulations in place. This trade is putting the lives at risk of the South Africans employed in this bizarre trade. As has been clearly demonstrated with the SARS virus and now with the new CORONA virus trading in lion bone with unknown medical consequences is irresponsible to say the least.