• January 5, 2012

Tighter policing and enforcement measures have driven Thai based illegal traders of tiger skins and bones to attempt to use an unlikely smuggling route – they have turned to the Thai postal service to smuggle their illegal products. Four complete tiger skins and bones worth an estimated £39,000 were seized by the Royal Thai customs this week.

FREELAND Foundation, an organisation funded by the UK based David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) and its TigerTime campaign, reported this event. The Director General of Royal Thai Customs Mr Somchai Poolsawasdi explained that this change in transportation is due to heightened law enforcement against traffickers that would ordinarily use road routes. The fact that these traffickers are using such drastic measures not only shows the improvement of anti-trafficking enforcement in the country, but also the continued large demand for these illegal products.

FREELAND Foundation’s Tim Redford said: ‘The confiscation of these tiger skins and bones is commendable and has clearly hurt the criminals financially. However, with so few tigers left in the wild, stopping any more ending up like this is vital. Traffickers must be investigated, caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law if we’re going to have any chance of averting the extinction of this magnificent animal.’

David Shepherd added: ‘It is great news that our colleagues in Thailand have been able to report this important seizure. However, the fact that the criminals were trying to smuggle goods using the equivalent of the Royal Mail in Thailand shows how determined the traffickers are. We are delighted that our TigerTime campaign is attracting so much support from around the world. The more people that back us, the more we can do. It is particularly vital that China heeds our call to ban ALL trade in ALL tiger parts from ANY source, as China leads the world demand for illegal tiger products. That is why the TigerTime campaign is asking the world to sign up to its petition’

It is a bittersweet victory for the fight against tiger trade. We therefore need your continued backing to stamp out tiger trade. Please sign our petition and donate.

Written by: Chantelle M Henderson –Twitter