Report Shows Decline in Online Tiger Sales
Chinese-language online advertisements for tiger part ornaments and tiger-based medicines appear to be in decline, according to a new report published by TRAFFIC on April 29.
The monthly monitoring of 25 Chinese-language online auction sites between July 2012 and May 2013 found 438 advertisements offering items purporting to contain tiger bones and other tiger parts. Items broke down as follows: 46% jewellery, 17% tiger bone, 13% traditional medicine, 12% curios, 11% other tiger body parts. Within the ‘other tiger part; tiger claws accounted for 78% of products for sale, teeth 16%, tails 21% and kidney stone 0.5%. Thumb rings, including archers’ rings purportedly made from tiger bone, were the most common type of tiger product advertised.
Although tiger items are still being advertised online, there were signs that the number of times such advertisement are appearing is in decline. This appears to be a response to greater awareness of the illegality of such sales as well as the growing number of internet retail companies who have pledged a zero tolerance policy towards such illegal trade and routinely remove such advertising.
China was the only tiger-range country in Asia that responded to CITES original request in 2007 for parties to collect information on the illegal wildlife trade on the internet of CITES-listed species.
“Many of the items offered for sale are in direct contravention of the law introduced by China in 1993 which banned the use, manufacture, sale, importation and export of medicines derived from tiger bone and rhino horn, and related products. Education and advocacy work with those sites hosting a greater number of advertisements has shown positive outcomes and a clear reduction in this type of trade,” states the report.
“If the desire for the tiger as commodity (fake or otherwise) is to be lessened, investment in demand reduction is necessary to effect behavioural change and to reduce such trade in the long term.”
The report also highlights the need for punitive measures to be taken against sellers and sites hosting the advertisements and for publication of these cases to illustrate zero-tolerance of the trade.
“It is good to see a positive decline in the number of online adverts for tiger-related products. Whether they are real or fake each contributes to fuelling a market that if left unchecked could lead to the extinction of the tiger in the wild,” says the TigerTime team. “We urge everyone to apply their own zero-tolerance of these products and their adverts and to report them to the relevant authorities.”
You can read the full report – which looks at the trade in wild animal and plant resources – here Source: TRAFFIC