E5TSAR SHORT
Home SportsEconomyBusinessTechnologyEntertainmentHeightsEnergy



Record Singapore bust puts scrutiny on overlooked pangolin
Heights
Published in 10-4-2019
    755 Visits

SINGAPORE (AP) Singapore has seized more than 28 tons of pangolin scales belonging to around 38,000 of the endangered mammals over the past week, a global record that spurred calls for more protection for pangolins, which are used in traditional medicine.

The scales, which were found in shipping containers, have been linked to four species of pangolins native to Africa.

Officials found a record 14.2 tons of the scales hidden among packets of frozen beef on April 3. Five days later, they found 14 more tons in 474 bags in another container. The National Parks Board, Singapore Customs and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority said in a statement Wednesday that the cargo was declared as cassia seeds. Both shipments were en route from Nigeria to Vietnam.

"The sheer size of these two latest seizures is unprecedented and will undoubtedly prove a major setback to the traffickers concerned," said Richard Thomas of monitoring network Traffic.

He warned that the seizures themselves won't put the traffickers out of business. "The quantities of pangolins involved point to sourcing, processing and distribution on an industrial scale," Thomas said.

The pangolin is said to be the most widely trafficked mammal in the world, and its scales are in high demand in Asia for use in traditional Chinese medicine. The scales are made of keratin, the same material in human fingernails. Their meat is also considered a delicacy in China and other Asian countries.

Wildlife groups are concerned that the busts point to a jump in poaching of pangolins.

"The World Health Organization recently endorsed traditional medicine and the industry appears keen to grow this market, outside of China, Vietnam and beyond," said Neil D'Cruze, the global wildlife adviser at the World Animal Protection....

Reference: www.chron.com