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International relations

Tiger and rhino farms set to rise to meet Chinese demand

Beijing's decision to lift ban for medical use reignites extinction concerns

A white rhino is strapped down for dehorning near Klerksdorp, South Africa. (Photo by Laurine Croes)

BRISTOL, U.K. -- Despite dwindling populations of wild tigers in the world, Chinese traders are managing big businesses in tiger farms. This is set to grow after Beijing made a controversial announcement late last month permitting the sale of farmed rhino horns and tiger bones for the development and practice of traditional Chinese medicine for the first time in 25 years, shocking nations worldwide.

Thousands of tigers are kept and raised in often cruel conditions to supply bone and other body parts for the traditional Chinese medicine industry. Across the world in South Africa, rhino farmers are lobbying governments and environmental organizations to make legal the international sale of rhino parts to satisfy Asian demand.

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