China has removed pangolin parts from its official list of traditional medicines, state media reported Tuesday. Pangolins were left out of the official Chinese pharmacopeia this year, along with substances including a pill formulated with bat feces, the state-owned Health Times reported.
Body parts from a pangolin fetch a high price on the black market as they are commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine, although scientists say they have no therapeutic value.
On Friday, China’s forestry authority gave pangolins the highest level of protection in the country due to its threatened status.
“Depleted wild resources” are being withdrawn from the pharmacopeia, Health Times reported, although the exact reason for the removal of pangolins was unclear.
The pangolin, the world’s most heavily trafficked mammal, is thought by some scientists to be the possible host of the novel coronavirus that emerged at a market in China’s Wuhan city last year.
In recent months, China has banned the sale of wild animals for food, citing the risk of diseases spreading to humans. Still, the trade remains legal for other purposes, including research and traditional medicine.