China lift a 25-year ban on the trade of tiger parts

In October last year the Chinese government released a statement stating lifting a 25-year ban on the use of tiger parts and rhino horn in Traditional Chinese Medicine. This was a terrifying prospect considering that tiger populations have declined by 96% in the last 100 years and that as few as 3,500 are estimated to remain in the wild today.

As a result of immense public pressure, David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) were pleased to see the potential postponement of this policy. However, following an official notice released last month, the Government of the Shaanxi Province are allowing permits to buy and sell tiger and rhino products in ‘special circumstances. This move by China shows a complete disregard in acknowledging the links between the trade in tiger parts and the illegal killing of wild tigers.

Legal markets for tiger parts create a guise under which to launder illegal parts and sends mixed messages to consumers about consumption. Demand in China continues to thrive, and we must now call for a robust and comprehensive ban in the trade of all tiger parts and their derivatives and the closure of captive breeding facilities which perpetuate the illegal trade.

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