surveyed in any one year, indicate that the Government of China made substantial effort to implement the ban of May 1993. While TRAFFIC investigators did not use quantitative scientific methods to measure awareness of the ban, they noted that more than half of the TCM sellers contacted in 1994 were aware of the ban. In other years also, about half of all sellers asked for a prohibited medicine or ingredient expressed awareness of the ban. Despite Government efforts to communicate the ban, however, some vendors in every year were willing to sell medicines which they realized were banned. Several of these merchants claimed that they were simply trying to rid themselves of old stock, although a few claimed to have new stock available.
Taken together, the results of these surveys could indicate that China has been highly successful in implementing the domestic ban on trade in rhinoceros horn, Tiger bone and their medicinal derivatives. Lack of pre-ban surveys of the trade prevent this or any other conclusions about availability before versus after the ban. What is more important, and of immediate conservation concern, is the fact that even a low level of availability exists in the world's most populous country - a country that depends, at least in part, on TCM to provide health care to 1.3 billion people. If poaching stands behind the source of rhinoceros horn and Tiger bone in China, the world's remaining rhinoceros and Tiger populations could not supply even a small residual demand in that country for long. Therefore, the report concludes that, as a matter of urgency, the Government of China must act to stop residual trade in the medicinal derivatives of rhinoceroses and Tigers, and investigations must be launched to ascertain the origin of those products that remain available on both the retail and wholesale market in China.