Pills, plants and animals
A guide to complementary medicines trade and conservation
About this booklet
Many of the world's animals and plants are threatened because of human activity such as hunting, poaching and the uncontrolled trade in wildlife and wildlife parts. Some of the species, including the tiger and rhinoceros, are now in great danger of extinction.
One factor driving the trade is the demand for animal and plant derivatives for use as health supplements in complementary medicines (also known as 'traditional' or 'alternative' medicines). These medicines include vitamin, mineral, plant or herbal, naturopathic and/or homeopathic preparations and nutritional supplements.
The reality is, if threatened species continue to be used in complementary medicines, these species may become extinct. Ending the illegal trade in protected wildlife and wildlife parts will help prevent their further decline.
The good news is that the properties of these wildlife products can often be replicated by medically acceptable alternatives.
This booklet will inform users, practitioners and importers of complementary medicines about Australia's wildlife trade laws and alternatives to using complementary medicines containing threatened species.