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Traditional Medicines - WC01018

The use of traditional medicine (TM) containing a range of “natural” ingredients obtained from animals and plants is gaining in popularity throughout the World. However, TM poses a major threat to the survival of many critically endangered species. Most TM “consumer” countries (e.g. China, Japan, the UK and USA) are Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) which bans international commercial trade in the most endangered animals and plants and controls it in certain others. However, demand for TM’s containing endangered species continues and with it illegal trade in parts and derivatives for the TM market.
The UK was instrumental at the 10th CITES Conference of Parties in gaining agreement to a Resolution (Res. Conf. 10.19) calling amongst other things for more research into substitutes for endangered species in TM’s. In 2001 Defra commissioned Middlesex University to undertake research to investigate “Plant Substances as Alternatives for Animal Products Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine”. This research has now reported and identifies certain plant substances that could be used as alternatives for three animal parts and derivatives pre-eminently used in TM: bear bile, rhino horn and tiger bone.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Plant Substances as Alternatives for Animal Products in Traditional Medicines   (835k)
• Executive Summary : Plant Substances as Alternatives for Animal Products in Traditional Medicines   (30k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2000

To: 2005

Cost: £67,500
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Middlesex
Environmental Protection              
Nature conservation              
Wildlife conservation              
Fields of Study
Wildlife Conservation