Down to the bone: China’s alarming trade in leopard bones

Leopards are Asia’s most traded big cat, with more than 4,900 seized from illegal trade in Asia since 2000 – but despite this, new evidence indicates the Government of China is issuing permits to trade and use their bones.

The trade in leopard bones is primarily to meet demand from Chinese consumers; it is used in similar ways to tiger bone.

This case appears to demonstrate how the heritage conservation loophole in China’s revised Wildlife Protection Law of 2016 is now being exploited to sanction large-scale, commercial trade in leopard products.