“Powdered forms of rhino horn and bones from dead tigers can only be used in qualified hospitals by qualified doctors recognized by the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine,” the statement said.
“It is deeply concerning that China has reversed its 25 year old tiger bone and rhino horn ban, allowing a trade that will have devastating consequences globally”, said Margaret Kinnaird, WWF Wildlife Practice Leader.
In its statement the State Council said any illegal trade of rhino and tiger products would be subject to “severe crackdowns” and illegal products would be confiscated.
But Kinnaird said the new law could lead to illegal products being sold under the cover of legality, as well as increased demand from consumers.
“With wild tiger and rhino populations at such low levels and facing numerous threats, legalized trade in their parts is simply too great a gamble for China to take,” she said.