Scale Of Pangolin Slaughter Revealed.
The pangolin is considered the world’s most-trafficked animal, with all eight species listed as vulnerable or critically endangered, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Endangered Species. Experts believe pangolins make up 20 percent of the global illegal animal trade. The animals are commonly hunted as bush-meat in Africa, and trafficked to China, where the meat is considered a delicacy.
Malaysian authorities have seized the country’s largest haul of illegal pangolin scales in May 2017, striking a major blow in the trans-national trade in this endangered species. The bust, which totalled 700 kilograms, reportedly arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport from Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was estimated to be worth as much as $2 million USD on the black market. Authorities believe it took the death of as many as 1,400 pangolins to produce this many scales. It’s the largest pangolin bust in Malaysian history. Malaysia is considered a key transit point in the pangolin trade as traffickers in Africa and Southeast Asia kill the small armoured animal to feed a market in China and Vietnam, where it is used as an ingredient in Chinese medicine. It’s scales are also used in the production of shabu-shabu—the local name for low-grade methamphetamine, according to PrFauna Indonesia. “This practice is utterly cruel because the scales are sloughed through a boiling process, sometimes when the animal is still alive,” the organization wrote on its website. Malaysia is not alone in the fight against pangolin trafficking. In 2015, the Wildlife Conservation Society and Indonesian authorities confiscated some 4,000 pangolins packed into a freezer and bound for Vietnam. That was only Indonesia’s second-largest bust. In 2008, authorities found 14 tons of frozen pangolins waiting for export in Palembang, South Sumatra. Sadly, it’s a problem with little signs of a solution, said Rosek Nursahid of ProFauna Indonesia. Credit: Renaldo Gabriel for Vice.
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