JOHANNESBURG – Delegates at a U.N. wildlife conference have voted to ban trade in all four species of Asian pangolins. The small, ant-eating mammal is heavily poached for its meat and scales that are used in traditional medicine in parts of Asia.
The committee vote came Wednesday at a meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES. The decision is expected to be approved at a plenary session next week.
The meeting of CITES, which regulates wildlife trade, ends Oct. 5.
CITES previously required controls on any trade in Asian pangolins in an effort to ensure their survival. The new vote prohibits commercial trade entirely.
The delegates are also considering protections for four species of African pangolins.