The Netherlands – Tigers should not be bred
for trade in their parts, governments gathered here said today,
approving a decision to strengthen conservation of wild tigers.
“This was a major victory
for wild tigers, which could be quickly wiped out by poaching if there
is a legal market anywhere,” said Uttara Mendiratta of
Wildlife Protection Society of India, on behalf of the 35 member
organizations of the International Tiger Coalition.
“The international community has sent a clear message that
the world cannot sacrifice the last wild tigers for the sake of a
handful of wealthy tiger farm investors.”
The International Tiger Coalition
commends delegates from four countries with wild tigers –
India, Nepal, Bhutan and Russia – and the United States in
standing firm on behalf of wild tiger conservation during a lengthy
debate here today. The decision was adopted by consensus, but not
before China tried to soften the language.
Privately run “tiger
farms” across China have bred nearly 5,000 captive tigers and
are putting enormous pressure on the Chinese government to allow legal
trade in tiger parts within China. They argue that their captive tigers
will meet the demand of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) users for
tiger-bone tonic wines and medicines. But TCM practitioners worldwide
have stopped using tiger bone and reject the argument that it is needed
in legitimate medicines.
“The request for reopening
trade does not come from TCM,” Lixin Huang, president of the
American College of TCM, told the forum before the decision was made.
“TCM does not wish to be responsible for the extinction of
All international trade in tiger parts is banned by CITES, and China
has banned domestic trade since 1993. The ban has proven successful in
reducing demand for tiger bone and raising public awareness about tiger
conservation, studies have found”
For more information contact:
Vertefeuille, WWF, +31 6 26529338
Judy Mills, STF, + 31 6 55933423