Folk medicine poses global threat to wild dog species
2010-05-18 0:00

By Matt Walker | News.BBC.co.uk

Half of all wild canine species such as dogs, foxes and wolves are harvested for traditional folk medicines, conservationists warn.


According to a scientific survey, 19 out of 35 known species of wild canid are still used in traditional medicine worldwide.

For example, wolf parts are eaten to treat chicken pox, while jackals are used to treat epilepsy and asthma.

Such trade may place added pressure on some dwindling canid populations.

Details of the survey are published in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation.

The report is produced by the same researchers who earlier this year published a review showing that more than 100 species of primate are still used in traditional medicines and religious rituals.

To conduct the latest review, Professor Romulo Alves of the State University of Paraiba in Brazil and colleagues searched the scientific literature and other sources for references to folk remedies using canine parts.

Using only those sources they considered authoritative, they then created a database containing the details of which species are used to treat certain conditions in different countries.

A fox for flu
Of 35 known canine species, the evidence suggests that 19 are still used in traditional medicines, the researchers report.

Of those, five species belong to the genus Canis, including the wolf Canis lupus, the side-striped jackal (C. adustus), golden jackal (C. aureus), coyote (C. latrans) and the black or silver-backed jackal (C. mesomelas).

Three species belong to the genus Vulpes which includes true foxes. These are the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), Cape fox (V. chama) and Pale fox (V. pallida).

Three species that live in South America belong to the genus Lycalopex, including the Culpeo or Andean fox (L. culpaeus), Pampas fox (L. gymnocerus) and Sechuran fox (L. sechurae).

Prof Alves team found evidence that canids are used in the treatment of at least 28 medical conditions, including asthma, arthritis, back ache, bronchial illnesses, chicken pox, eczema, epilepsy, flu, kidney diseases, measles and mumps, as well as the treatment of stomach complaints, snake bites and warts.

The parts of some wild dogs are even used in social, rather than medical contexts: in Bolivia, for example, the researchers say that cowboys believe that sitting on the pelt of a maned wolf will protect against bad luck.

A wolf for luck
Humans have a long association with wild dogs, the researchers note, both in harnessing their talents and seeing them as adversaries to be hunted or killed.

Canids have also been used in traditional medicines since ancient times.
Medieval manuscripts from Azerbaijan, for example, reveal that wolves, fox and jackals were used medicinally at the time, while there are records of red foxes being used to treat ear complaints dating from the 10th Century onwards.

However, today many canine species are under threat as their ranges are restricted and habitat destroyed.
Of the 19 species of wild dog cited in the review, two are classified as endangered and three as near threatened.
The trade in at least 10 of the 19 species is supposed to be restricted by CITES legislation.

Wild dogs are sometimes better able to bounce back from population crashes, say the researchers, due to their relatively high reproductive rate, bolstered by large litters born to young adults.

But the continuing trade in body parts for traditional medicines will add to the pressure faced by many species, the researchers warn.


Article from: news.bbc.co.uk



Related Articles
Dog senses quake before it happens (Video)
Fake Tracking Dog Sent Man to Prison
9/11 Hero Dog Cloned
S. Korea team delivers first commercial dog clone
Obama daughter’s birth witheld to coincide with Sirian Dog Days - The symbolism behind that
A Dog That Seems To Know When His Owner is Coming Home: Videotaped Experiments and Observations (PDF)
Alternative medicine professions ’need statutory regulation’
Modern shamans all the rage in South Korea
A Quest to Heal HIV with Ayahuasca Shamanism
Healing / Shaman (Video)


Latest News from our Front Page

Police Attacked by Mob in Cincinnati, Rescue White Man from Black Beatdown
2015-07-07 0:28
Cincinnati police form a line against mob violence July 4, 2015. Photo: Cincy vs Everyone Fireworks, rocks, bottles and punches were thrown at Cincinnati police by a mob of people gathered for a Fourth of July hip hop and electronica concert late Saturday night. Several officers were wounded including one who needed stitches after a thrown glass bottle struck him in ...
California Rabbi Calls on Amazon to Cease Selling Books on Holocaust Denial
2015-07-07 0:47
A Sacramento rabbi has called on Amazon to ban the sale of books promoting Holocaust denial, CBS Sacramento reported on Friday. “Blatant anti-Semitism,” said Sacramento Rabbi Mendy Cohen, according to the report. “To deny the Holocaust is another mask of blatant anti-Semitism.” Among the books for sale to Amazon customers are titles such as Did Six Million Die? The Truth at Last and The Myth ...
Inna Shevchenko: Naked Breasts Are Political Weapons
2015-07-06 23:46
Inna Shevchenko, the leader of the Femen movement, is not an obscure individual in Europe and much of the Western world. She once bragged: “I’m proud to say we brought the idea of feminism and women’s rights to a politically ignorant part of the world like Ukraine, Russia, Belarus. And I’m proud to say I think we brought feminism back on to ...
Cleric said to be behind Tunisian beach massacre is living on benefits in Britain
2015-07-06 23:11
Cleric said to be behind Tunisian beach massacre is living on benefits in Britain A leader of the terrorist group suspected of being behind the Tunisian beach massacre is living on benefits in Britain. Hani al-Sibai, an al-Qaeda cleric suspected of radicalising "Jihadi John", lives in a £1 million house leafy street in fashionable west London. He is said to be one of ...
Bakers Facing $135K Fine Over Wedding Cake for Same-Sex Couple Speak Out
2015-07-06 23:57
(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));A Daily Signal Exclusive: Bakers Facing $135K Fine Over Wedding Cake for Same-Sex Couple Speak OutPosted by The Daily Signal on Monday, April 27, 2015 From the video source: Bakers Facing $135K ...
More News »