The Chinese Government has stopped an auction of 400 bottles of tiger wine which was planned for this weekend (See previous post on our TigerTime Blog). Hundreds of Tiger Time supporters responded to the call to email Chinese officials demanding that it be banned. Sam Fox, one of the celebrities helping lead TigerTime said, ‘This just shows that people power can work and does work. We’ve helped stop this awful auction. Just imagine what we can do if we have even more people signed up to TigerTime and www.bantigertrade.com. I’m thrilled we’ve helped to pull this off – but there is so much more to do. The Chinese Government must ban ALL trade in ANY TIGER or Asian big cat body parts from ANY source. Please, help spread the word of what we are doing like wild fire. The world needs to know that the continued trade in tiger body parts is a mortal threat to the survival of the wild tiger’.
PRESS RELEASE from IFAW
December 3rd, 2011—Beijing: IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare—www.ifaw.org) applauds a Chinese government order which stopped the sale of hundreds of bottles of Tiger Bone Wine at an auction in Beijing today.
Beijing auction house Googut listed over 400 bottles of tiger bone wine from various Traditional Chinese Medicine manufactures in a special liquor and health tonics auction titled—Bouncing Dragon, Jumping Tiger. Trade in tiger bone has been illegal in China since 1993.
“We commend the government for taking a decisive action to prevent this illegal trade,” said Grace Ge Gabriel, Asia Regional Director of International Fund for Animal Welfare. “Any sale of tiger bone products is in blatant violation of both international and domestic trade bans. It can only stimulate the demand for tiger products and the poaching of wild tigers.”
Tigers are a critically-endangered species, with as few as 3,000 remaining in the wild.
Monitoring of wildlife markets both online and offline in China shows an increase in products from endangered species traded in auctions. The products, which are protected by CITES and under China’s Wildlife Protection Law, are often traded disguised as “antiques” and “collectables”.
“The audacity of the auction and its high profile promotion demonstrate how out of control the market is,” added Gabriel. “We urge a thorough investigation of the auction market for wildlife contraband followed with strong law enforcement. The sponsors of the auction should be held legally responsible and the wildlife contraband should be confiscated to prevent it from entering further trade.”
“It is outrageous that the auction openly flaunts the law and damages China’s image in the world,” said renowned Chinese artist and environmentalist, Xikun Yuan who attended the global tiger summit last year at St. Petersburg, Russia, where world leaders pledged to protect wild tigers. “The most important contribution China could make to tiger protection is to end tiger trade once and for all.