Wildlife trade: Medicine for humans or medicine for wildlife?

By Andrea Fitzgerald and Amber Marsh, TG Magazine youth journalists

Is the use of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) necessary? The traditionalists of the world seem to think so, but a group of experts at the World Conservation Congress in Montreal in October explored the impact of the medicine versus conservation debate.

Recent studies have shown that many wild animals and plant species have been exploited to make TCM. Rhinos, tigers, bears, panngolins, numerous turtle species, musk deer, ginseng are among the many endangered species still used in TCM.

Two billion US dollars are spent on TCM annually in China.
A main stay for the health care market, traditional medicine system are used by that 80 percent of the world's population, according to The World Health Organisation. Judy Mills, Director, Traffic, East Asia, told the panel that, " The dilemma pits the world's medicinal security against the conservation of the world's wild fauna and flora.