Why are Singaporeans so superstitious
Illegal wildlife trade - Asian superstition: 14 tons of scales confiscated from pangolin
Authorities in Singapore have found around 14 tons of pangolin scales on a ship coming from Nigeria. An estimated 36,000 of the critically endangered pangolins - also known as pangolins - had to die for the dandruff, which is so popular on the Asian market. Also on board were more than 180 kilograms of ivory.
This is a record for Singapore, reports the "New York Times" and refers to the "Pangolin Specialist Group" of the "International Union for Conservation of Nature". "If the illegal wildlife trade does not stop, pangolins will become extinct", quoted the NYT Paul Thomson of the "Pangolin Specialist Group".
Dandruff is considered a medicine in Asia
The nocturnal pangolins, native to Asia and Africa, are the most illegally trafficked mammals in the world - this sad record has even earned them an entry in the Guinness Book of Records.
In Asia, their meat is considered a delicacy, the scales are traded as a medicine. Just like the horn of the rhinoceros, they consist exclusively of keratin, like human fingernails. The largest market is China, followed by Vietnam. This is where the ship should go. According to a survey by WildAid, 70 percent of the Chinese believe that the dandruff cures rheumatism and skin diseases.
It is estimated that 100,000 pangolins are poached every year
The trade in pangolins was banned worldwide in 2013, but around 100,000 pangolins are illegally poached every year, estimates the animal welfare organization Pro Wildlife. That is almost 280 animals a day. They are easy to catch because they curl up in danger to avoid being eaten. Poachers can then simply pick them up and carry them away.
Only a few weeks ago there was a record find in Malaysia, one of the largest transshipment centers in the African-Asian trade. There, almost 30 tons of frozen pangolins and 361 kilograms of scales were found in two factories, only 61 animals were rescued alive.
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