Tiger Bone Wine Not Banned in China

There is a long held belief in China that tiger bones are beneficial to one’s mental and physical health. In fact, traditional Chinese medicine has used nearly every part of the tiger for homeopathic remedies including its skin and whiskers. These days, killing tigers for its skin is banned, but killing tigers for its bones is not.

The Daily Beast takes a look at the modern-day practice of making wine with tiger bones wherein a bone is steeped in rice wine to create an infusion of sorts. Since 1959, when Mao Zedong began a campaign to eradicate China’s tiger population, the species has been viewed as an enemy of the country and its people. And though the practice of killing tigers for their pelts was outlawed in 1993, the breeding and killing of tigers for their bones is being fueled by the government’s licensing of captive breeders for pilot testing in “medicine.”

The demand for tiger bone wine is real, if still niche, popping up in listings and auctions on fan websites without any intervention from the Chinese government. [The Daily Beast] [Photo: Flickr/Kyle Taylor]