Conservationists welcome international support to work towards an end to tiger farming
After years of campaigning good news in the fight to end the trade in tigers.
China stood alone
During discussions at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), India, Nepal, the USA, EU and Lao PDR overruled a proposal from China to delete a Decision to end tiger farming. China stood alone in suggesting that the Decision, which states that “tigers should not be bred for trade in their parts and derivatives”, should be “retired”.
With so few wild tigers remaining, and with populations functionally extinct in some range States the conservation of wild tigers requires action to end all trade in tiger parts and derivatives, and reduce and eventually eliminate demand for these products. Trade in parts and derivatives of captive bred tigers continues to be a threat, perpetuating the desirability of tiger products and stimulating poaching of wild tigers and other Asian big cats. Undeniably, wild tigers are doing best in range States where they are not considered a commodity and where they are not bred for trade in their parts and derivatives.
Lao PDR want to phase out tiger farms
Following on from a Ministerial announcement last Friday, the delegation from Lao PDR elaborated on their government’s intention to work with technical experts to phase out tiger farms. Lao PDR is the first of the tiger-farming countries to declare their intention to finally implement CITES Decision 14.69. While welcoming this announcement, werecognise that Lao PDR is home to transnational organised criminal networks that are exploiting weak legislation and enforcement. A significant investment of political and financial commitment to root out corruption and complacency is essential to turn these positive words into positive action for tigers.
More scrutiny of tiger farms and sharing of seizure data
Also approved at CITES were a suite of Decisions that will continue a thorough review of efforts to improve legislation and enforcement, and will put facilities that keep and breed tigers and other Asian big cats for commercial purposes under greater scrutiny. Additionally, there was support in principle for a proposal from India which encourages countries that make seizures of tiger skins to share photos of these with range states, to facilitate investigations into the origin of the skins.
This is all positive news for tigers and we will continue to work to bring about and support an end to tiger farming and the trade in tigers – wild and captive through our TigerTime campaign.