Be Smart! Tiger bone is not a magical medicine

Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV) has released its latest public service announcement (PSA), aimed at motivating the public to protect Vietnam’s few remaining tigers by stopping the use of tiger bone as a form of traditional medicine.


Tiger PSA


The PSA features a number of people who tell the audience that they formerly believed that tiger bone was a “magical medicine”, capable of curing their ailments, but have since come to realize that tiger bone medicine was ineffective.


“I used to think that tiger bone glue would relieve my aching bones, but tiger bone brings nothing but disappointment”, says an elderly man in the short film.  Another claims that using tiger bone was like pouring money down the drain: “I spent millions on tiger bone medicine, but my arthritis is just as bad as before. Tiger bone is a waste of money.” The film also features an appeal from Vu Quoc Trung, a well-known traditional medicine doctor as he warns the public to not be fooled by the rumors of the medicinal value of tiger bone.


The wild tiger population has declined dramatically in Vietnam over the past few decades, mainly due to illegal hunting and trade. According to experts, there may be fewer than 30 tigers left in the wild in Vietnam.


“If we do not take drastic actions, tigers will soon follow the path of the Javan rhino and disappear forever from the forests of Vietnam,” says Ms. Nguyen Thi Phuong Dung, Vice Director of ENV. “The consumption of tiger bone medicine by our generation may deprive our descendants of the chance to admire this iconic and charismatic species in its natural habitat.”  Dung goes on to suggest that people seek alternatives to their beliefs that do not have such a devastating impact on nature. “Ask your traditional medicine doctor about herbal alternatives or seek modern medicine which is more effective and less costly than tiger bone.” Dung says. 


The new PSA is the second film released this year aimed at discouraging the public from using tiger bone medicine. ENV has produced 19 PSAs to date as part of a long-term campaign to reduce demand and consumption of products made from endangered species. The PSA will be widely broadcasted on both national and provincial TV channels in the coming months.


ENV gratefully acknowledges the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for their valuable support in producing this PSA, and for their support to ENV in helping address tiger consumption and trade in Vietnam.


The PSA with English subtitle can be watched online at the link


More details about ENV’s campaign to stop the illegal tiger trade can be found at


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