PETALING JAYA: Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners have urged people not to buy animal-based products, particularly those from endangered or protected species.
This follows the shocking news that the Sumatran rhino has been deemed extinct in Malaysia due to habitat destruction and being poached for its horn, according to a study by several experts including Dr Junaidi Payne of the Borneo Rhino Alliance.
Malaysian Chinese Medical Association secretary-general Heng Aik Teng said people should not buy endangered animal parts for health reasons.
“Just replace it with other medicines. The animal is endangered so people shouldn’t buy anything to do with it. I advise them to use other, legal alternatives. Don’t break the law,” he said.
The Federation of Chinese Physicians and Acupuncturists Association Malaysia president Prof Ng Po Kok said customers should only buy medicines from reputable shops that did not deal with black market trade.
“We must protect animals and other endangered species. So many herbs have the same supposed value and benefits of animal-based medicines. Herbs are functional and with them there is no need to use animal organs or parts,” he said.
Perhilitan director-general Datuk Abdul Rasid Samsudin said the department was trying to work with Indonesia, which has an estimated 100 individual rhinos left in the wild.
“In Sabah we are also trying to get the three rhinos kept in parks to breed. But there is certainly a possibility of reviving the population if we work together in a cross-boundary effort,” he said.