MP responds positively in support of the tiger
Many thanks for your email.
I share your concerns about this issue, and I want to see the UK push for a clamp down on illegal poaching of tigers, trade in tiger parts and deforestation of tiger habitats.
There are estimated to be only 3,200 tigers living in the wild – which is a shockingly low number – and I agree it would be an awful tragedy if the threats of poaching and deforestation continue to reduce these numbers and threaten extinction.
I am pleased therefore that the UK Government works with the World Bank-led Global Tiger Initiative which aims to double the number of tigers in the wild by 2022 and that the UK Government also provides funding to the World Bank’s Multi Donor Trust Fund to finance wildlife crime enforcement and prevention programmes across tiger range states.
As you may be aware, a new resolution was taken on 26th April 2013 at the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to classify international wildlife crime and timber trafficking as a serious organised crime, which I hope will allow for tougher sentences to be given to wildlife crime offenders, including those who poach and trade in illegal tiger products.
This is welcome but I also believe that the UK Government need to ensure there is adequate funding and support for domestic wildlife prevention and I am concerned that the Government are yet to provide long-term funding for the National Wildlife Crime Unit, which helps to tackle the illegal trade in animals including tiger parts. I am also concerned that the Government seems determined to push on with a badger cull that is not backed up by the science and secretly issued licenses for the destruction of buzzard nests.
It is also important that the Government strengthen their anti-poaching and customs systems in order to comply with guidelines and adopt resolutions set out by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
I hope you will be pleased to hear that I have written to William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, on your behalf. I have asked him what action he is taking in international negotiations to make sure that tigers are protected.
I will write again as soon as I receive a response to my letter. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any other concerns or if there’s anything else I can do to help.
Many thanks and best wishes,
Ian Austin, MP for Dudley North