China: 93 Pounds of Pangolin Scales, Small Amount of Rhino Horn Confiscated

Beijing customs officials seized 42 kilograms (93 pounds) of pangolin scales, plus .31 kilograms (11 ounces) of rhino horn, at the Beijing Capital International Airport.

The items were confiscated from two Chinese passengers who arrived on a flight from Doha, Qatar.

According to the PRC Customs website, the incident occurred on June 17th. No information was provided as to whether the rhino horn was a piece of, or powdered, horn, although the average weight for a white rhino horn is 5.5 kilograms (12 pounds).

Pangolin scales and rhino horn are both prized in traditional Chinese medicine, although the actual medicinal efficacy remains unproven.

Also in China, authorities arrested three wildlife traffickers in Nanning and confiscated hundreds of bear paws, along with pangolin and tortoise carcasses. Earlier this month in Shanghai, five pangolins were confiscated from a smuggler.

However, the same vigilance has yet to be demonstrated regarding China’s ongoing trade in tiger skins, bones, and body parts.


Image © iStockphoto.com

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Rhishja Cota-Larson

I am the founder of Annamiticus, and I work as an independent Wildlife Trade and Communication Design Consultant. I have journeyed to the streets of Hanoi to research the illegal wildlife trade, and to the rainforests of Sumatra and Java to document the world’s rarest rhinos. I am a Co-Chair of the SSN Pangolin Working Group. At CITES meetings, I collaborate with colleagues from around the world to lobby in favor of protecting endangered species. I am a Wildlife Trade and Trafficking Consultant for the upcoming documentary The Price, the host of Behind the Schemes and author of the book Murder, Myths & Medicine. I enjoy desert gardening, herping, reading, designing, and walking with my dogs.

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