China rejects CITES call for tiger farm ban
This week has seen the 62ndmeeting of the CITES Standing Committee in Geneva, Switzerland. Throughout the week, CITES member nations have been debating much heated issues including the illegal ivory trade, wildlife trade regulations and tiger farms.
Both the UK and India called upon China, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos to follow CITES recommendation to ban tiger farms within their countries. The UK and India stated that allowing these “farms” to continue completely undermines conservation efforts for tigers in the wild.
China responded to this ask by challenging the validity of the claim and asked for “evidence that tiger farms encourage poaching of wild tigers”. Although China banned the trade of all tiger parts in 1993, the illegal trade continues and large-scale commercial breeding of tigers is booming. There are now said to be 5,000 tigers in 20 farms in China which are run as tourist attractions by incredibly wealthy and politically influential businessmen. China’s CITES delegate Wan Ziming simply stated “There is no evidence that farming of tigers threatens wild tigers”.
It was in 2007 when CITES agreed to phase out tiger farms but with no set agenda on how this would happen. The UK and India urged this week that a plan needs to be set in place and action must be taken.
A hundred years ago there were 100,000 wild tigers roaming the planet, there are now only 3,200. The Chinese demand for tiger products is ever growing and devastating wild tiger numbers. The black market for tiger skins and bone is flourishing with items such as tiger bone wine being used as a status symbol. Goods such as a bottle of tiger bone wine are often used as bribes or gifts for businessmen to gain promotions or for business deals. For the demand to drop, the use of such products needs to become socially unacceptable.
TigerTime is calling for a ban on ALL trade from ANY sources with a ZERO tolerance policy.
Written by: Chantelle M Henderson