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The impact of Traditional Asian Medicine on African wildlife: the role of East Asian immigrants

Nguyen, Trang (2019) The impact of Traditional Asian Medicine on African wildlife: the role of East Asian immigrants. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:84473)

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Abstract

The variety of wildlife products used in Traditional Asian Medicine (TAM) is extensive and includes many species that have been designated as threatened according to the IUCN Red List criteria. However, the role of TAM in global health care has been recognised by the World Health Organisation and TAM practices are predicted to increase globally. In 2013, China announced its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to increase China's involvement in international development, covering 65 countries. The expansion of BRI, with promotion of TAM as a key tenant, increases trade connectivity between Africa and China may create an opportunity for wildlife trafficking, particularly for high value wildlife products such as those used in TAM. This research aims to explore TAM practitioners' and consumers' knowledge and preference in South Africa towards the use of wildlife parts; determine how it might contribute to the illegal trade and consumption at national and international levels; and determine which factors influence choice of treatment. Market surveys were conducted to evaluate the scale of the markets, social surveys undertaken to examine the trade and demand between South Africa and Vietnam, and a specialized questioning technique used to estimate the use of endangered wild animal species in TAM. Three main groups of TAM consumers were identified in South Africa: the new Asian migrants, the Chinese African and the local African. There is a strong belief ingrained in TAM users in the power of consuming wild animal parts as medicine across all consumer groups. Our findings suggest that the practice of TAM, including the use of wild animal parts is established among the local African peoples, beyond the Asian diaspora. There were a considerable number of wild animal parts being sold for TAM purposes in South Africa, including raw parts from Asian species such as bear bile and gallbladder, and processed products that have been manufactured within Asia and potentially smuggled into South Africa for domestic consumption. Together, these findings enhance our knowledge regarding the illegal trade and consumption of wild animal parts for TAM in South Africa, and highlighted the need for collaboration efforts between organisations and relevant stakeholders to tackle these issues.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Roberts, David
Uncontrolled keywords: Consumption, demand, diaspora, immigrants, illegal wildlife trade, muthi, wildlife traders, traditional medicine practitioners
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2020 16:10 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:16 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/84473 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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