Prescription for Extinction: The Illegal Wildlife Trade

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Traditional Chinese Medicine is a flagship of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. But scientists say demand for medicine containing animal parts could push tigers, bears, rhinos and pangolins to the brink of extinction.

“Growing up, whenever I felt a fever coming, I was always advised to drink the ‘rhino water’,” says international legal expert Shirleen Chin from her office in the Hague, a long way from her native Malaysia. She knows the strength of belief in such products, rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, thousands of years old.

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