From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2012:
Why an ancient armored mammal needs better defenses
HONG KONG–“We have uncovered disturbing information which strongly suggests that ‘medicinal use’ pangolin farms are already operating in China,” said Project Pangolin founders Rhishja Cota-Larson and Sarah Pappin on January 16, 2012.
“The emergence of pangolin farming,” Cota-Larson and Pappin suggested, “may help provide insight into why the world is losing pangolins at such an alarming rate–an estimated 40,000 killed in 2011– and why China’s appetite for pangolins continues to increase.” As with bear bile and tiger farming, the growth of a captive population enables sellers to encourage customers to buy more pangolin products, even as the exploited species disappears from the wild.
The conservation aspect of the disappearance of pangolins has drawn the most attention so far, but the suffering of individual pangolins is considerable. Most pangolins taken from the wild are transported to markets and sold alive, if the poachers can keep them alive. This is also believed to be the fate of farmed pangolins. If pangolins die in transport or markets, their remains are frozen and sold. Read more