Under international and Australian wildlife protection laws, it is illegal to import, export or trade in items that are on the CITES list of endangered species unless the appropriate permits have been issued. CITES refers to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
The export, import, sale and use of endangered species by unethical traders and practitioners has been the source of substantial negative publicity for the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) profession. It needlessly damages the professional reputation of bona fide practitioners and traders in Australia who comply with wildlife protection laws.
In April 2007, the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd entered into a funding agreement with the Department of the Environment and Water Resources, now the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), to establish and administer a collaborative certification scheme for professionals and traders involved in the research, recommendation, prescription, supply, export or import of traditional Chinese medicines.
Ginseng photo credit: Allan Crawford, Traffic International; Musk photo credit: Sue Earl & Greg Miles