While scientists in every corner of the globe rush to develop a cure for the COVID-19 disease, the news of animals being killed for unscientific treatments come pouring in from China and parts of Southeast Asia.
Black Cats Killed En Masse In Vietnam
According to reports by animal rights activists, black cats are being subjected to atrocious cruelties in Vietnam. They are being skinned, boiled, and cooked to prepare a paste that is being fed to people as a remedy to keep COVID-19 in check.
For decades, Vietnam has been under the radar of organizations dealing with illegal wildlife trade. The widespread belief in traditional medicines that often use body parts of animals keeps the trade alive in the country. Now, in addition to wildlife, black cats are also victims of this belief system. Charity "No to Dog Meat" says that the practice of using black cat paste as a COVID-19 remedy is centered in Hanoi, Vietnam's capital, but bottles of the purported cure are being sold online as well. Footages showing the killing of black cats in Vietnam will give nightmares to any sentient person. Campaigners have captured the horrendous images of rows of dead black cats left to dry in the sun. One heart-wrenching video shows boiling water being poured on a live black cat placed in a cooking pot.
Wildlife Also A Target Of COVID-19 Cure
Rhinos have been poached for decades for their horns that feed the monstrous demand of the Chinese traditional medicine industry. These horns are made up of protein keratin, the same material found in our hair and fingernails. No scientific evidence points to their medicinal importance. Yet, the illegal trade in rhino horns flourishes. According to Save The Rhino, rhino horn traders in China and Laos are now advocating the use of these horns as a cure for COVID-19. Advertisements of angong niuhuang wan, a Chinese traditional medicine stated to contain rhino horn and musk, have been detected by wildlife crime investigators on WeChat.
Bear bile has also been used in traditional Chinese medicine since antiquity. The extraction of bile from bears in farms is a story of horror. The intensely cruel practice is difficult for many to digest. Although bear bile contains high levels of ursodeoxycholic acid that is clinically proven to treat some liver diseases, a synthetic version of the same is available as a drug used in other parts of the world. Yet, the Chinese continue to use live bears to extract bile through an invasive process that is deemed to be extremely painful to the bears.
More recently, the Chinese government recommended the use of an injection containing bear bile to treat critical COVID-19 patients. There is no scientific proof, however, of the effectiveness of such treatment.