Protest the Use of Lion Bones in Chinese Medicine

Target: Gary Locke, U.S. Ambassador to China

Goal: Challenge the unnecessary use of lion bones in Chinese medicines

In China, it was (and is) traditionally thought that medicines made with tiger bones could cure rheumatism and stomach aches while granting the drinker increased strength, virility, and longevity. The practice of killing tigers for their bones, however, has come under fire. Coupled with the decrease in the tiger population, this has made the acquisition of tiger bones almost too difficult. Now, many are turning to lions.

The wild tiger population dropped sharply around 2008, and traders and poachers from countries like China and Vietnam have begun hunting South African lions. There are up to 5,000 captive lions in South Africa, not including the 2,000 living in protected reserves and national parks. This makes lions much easier to hunt, and also, trade in lion parts is still legal. However, the lion population is quickly declining.

Poachers and traders are able to sell lion bones for about $75 per pound, or $5,000 for a complete skeleton. South Africa has also made it easier for traders and trophy dealers to export lion bones, even if they did not kill the lion themselves. Now, tourists can come to South Africa and spend money to hunt lions and other animals. If the tourist does not want to keep the lion’s body or bones, however, he can sell the lion’s bones for a large sum to Chinese trophy dealers.

Despite the ease with which tourists and hunters can legally kill lions, it is estimated that half of the lion bones leaving South Africa are being exported illegally after being obtained by poachers. This practice is incredibly harmful for the lion population, and these already rare animals are on a rapid decline. Protest the use of their bones in medicine, and ensure that they remain safe from poachers and hunters.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Ambassador Locke,

The practice of using crushed tiger bones in Chinese medicine has fortunately been on a slow decline, but the market has seized upon a new material to imbue traditional medicines with similar benefits to the drinker. Lion bones have been gaining popularity in medicine, and the lion population is facing the same fate as the tiger population as a result. Poachers and hunters are able to make huge profits selling tiger skeletons to Chinese and Southeast Asian trophy dealers, who then export the bones back to their country.

The United States must express its dissatisfaction with such a practice, and demand that China stops encouraging the hunting of lions. While it is legal to hunt lions, the use of their bones has driven up the price hunters can get for lions’ bodies, thus creating more of an incentive to kill as many lions as possible. This is extremely harmful for the lion population, and places the animals in an alarming amount of danger. The United States must put pressure on China to stop the use of lion bones in traditional medicine, and to limit the lion hunting that China’s medical industry is inspiring. The world must stand up to protect these magnificent animals before there are none left.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: etrusia uk (Away for a while) via Flickr

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40 Comments

  1. Myrna Burdick says:

    Did you take note of the statement that this potion purportedly increases virility – do the chinese ever think of anything but their penis’s? Getting a “hard on” is obviously a big selling ploy in china regardless of what population of animals it destroys.

    If the country has so much money it can pay poaching fees
    why don’t they look to medications that are already developed and have proven results. Maybe it is the “medicine men” who have the corner on the advertising
    market for the superstitious, the little “dicks” wanting to be ever erect and ready for action.

  2. Lucy Kelly says:

    Herbalists have now found identical chemicals from plants, for every chemical the Chinese have traditionally sourced from animals for use as medicine. The Chinese governent should force the Chinese to use these herbal/plant extracts, instead.

  3. Lucy Kelly says:

    Cont. Actually, perhaps someone should start a cheap chainstore right next to animal using Chinese medicine shops, selling much cheaper plantbased medical extracts. It might work.

  4. Lucy Kelly says:

    Ultimately, people who do not value the wild will hopefully be deselected. Selfishness to the point of destroying entire species or causing great sufferring to other species is surely skewed quite a long way from an acceptable standard of morality.

  5. Hate to say it but again WTF China!!!! Lions wow!! Worst for animal cruelty. We have issues in the western world but China seems to always infringe upon our most majestic and endangered species. We need to boycot asian made items etc…

  6. Brian Jenions says:

    Don’t forget that America is the second biggest market for ivory. US zoos have a bad record for elephant conditions and use of wild animals in circuses

  7. For a country that was civilised long before a lot of the globe they seem to have their brains stuck somewhere in the dark ages!

  8. I know an overwhelming population of our country is heartless and self centered when it comes to the animals on this planet, but what is up with the Chinese?I fear for every single animal that has managed to somehow survive in the midst of any Chinese person.

  9. Not like I want to be a hater of any one. Though in order to love one another as I know we are supposed to….Just stop killing all the animals, USA is no different, What about all the needless torture done on countless species in US labs?Then the lab people murder the animals once they torture them till they are useless. None of this is right. So everyone stop being animal haters and all us people can get along!

  10. Pure infantile primitivism – what kind of idiotic monsters are able to handle and destroy living creatures in that way is unbelievable – monsters are not humans and deserves monsterwork too.

    People need to vote unacting dumb authorities and officials acting irresponsibly to futuregenerations out of occupations NOW AND FOR ALL!

    “While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered beasts, how can we expect any ideal positions on this earth?”
    George Bernhard Shaw

  11. James Kavanagh says:

    Stop the savages!!

  12. we all got to stop this evil act now. how about a world wide petitions from you all. there plenty of sites to start a prtion ie care2.com goverment petions .we got to make the listern before its to late or email your local mp or so called leader. use your seach bar to find out there address.i have and i do recived email back (might not be helpfull but at least they get the message though there thick brain
    thank you for reading this x

  13. Im so suprised these people are not torchuring their own pandas.They are no different and im sure their bones are the same. Hate even mentioning it incase it gives these people ideas.
    The amount of cruelty in this day and age is disgusting. We have to be a voice for these poor defenceless animals. We are animals too.
    Hope these people come back as animals in their next life and get a taste of their own ‘medicine’.

  14. Jim kavanagh says:

    Insane

  15. Elle Langstrom says:

    For all those lacking the ability to have some semblance of humility, because their countries are so perfect apparently, here’s a shocker: lions farmed for their meat (done LEGALLY in the great US of A, a country from which many of the vile, racist comments originate from)

    http://www.causes.com/actions/1753314-take-lion-meat-off-the-menu-protect-african-lions?utm_campaign=activity_mailer%2Fnew_activity&utm_medium=email&utm_source=causes&token=JSa7xNuAYlc80IqHDMI7yfa3

    “African lions have disappeared from over 80% of their historic range, and their population declined by nearly 50% in just over two decades. Despite this, some exotic game farms in the United States are raising African lions to be sold to slaughterhouses and turned into meat.
    Horrifying, but completely legal.

    We’re working to change this and help lions survive in the wild where they belong by pressuring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect lions under the Endangered Species Act. This would prevent the import and trade in lions or their parts within the United States.

    As the world’s largest importer of both commercially traded African lion parts and lion trophies, the U.S. is driving the market for killing lions. We can stop that with your help. Please support our work to protect African lions under the Endangered Species Act and to help other similar species come back from the brink with a donation today.”

    So, to reflect it back the way a lot of the comments have been made: You barbaric Americans; and it’s all legal!!!!!

  16. Ruth Rogers says:

    Signed. Please sign, and then share this petition.

  17. “Medicine” ?

    This whole thing of old traditional Chinese medicine is nothing more than making money with uneducated superstitious people and the useless killing of animals!

    I’m sick of these Asians and sorry for the minority of them who desperately try to stop this imbecility.

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