Help To Stop The Tiger Trade

thanks to Kuba Ash

This action has succeeded in keeping the trade ban in China:
report from WWF: "In a major victory for conservation, raising captive tigers for trade in their parts was rejected by members of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) meeting in The Hague.
Parties to the international wildlife convention also urged China to phase out its large-scale commercial tiger farms.
Prior to the decision WWF and other conservation organizations unveiled the massive two-storey-high tiger mosaic, made up of more than 26,000 photos, outside the conference centre urging world leaders to end all trade in tigers. Delegates had to walk past the mosaic on their way to the tiger debate.
4 countries with wild tigers - India, Nepal, Russia and Bhutan - were joined by the United States in advocating for a strong decision for tigers. India called on China to phase out the country's privately run "tiger farms," which house nearly 5,000 big cats and are pushing the Chinese government to allow legal trade in tiger parts. With leadership from these countries, the 171 member countries of the CITES convention adopted a strong tiger trade decision by consensus.
China has said that it will not lift its ban without listening to scientific opinion from around the world. The world spoke and urged China not to reopen any trade in tiger parts and to increase protection for tigers in the wild."
However there is still the problem of illegal trade in tiger products from China that's why I won't close the site.
Thank you to everyone who took action.

What is the Problem?

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This is a time of great importance for Tiger conservation; wild populations of this species are decreasing at an alarming rate. While habitat loss and prey base declines are key factors, the primary cause of the Tiger’s endangerment has been considered to be China’s traditional use of Tiger bone medicines. There has been considerable progress in China towards reducing the trade threat to wild Tigers. In the early 1990s, it was feared that Chinese demand for Tiger products would drive the Tiger to extinction by the new millennium; that the Tiger survives today is testimony to China’s prompt, strict and committed action. This is a major achievement and China should be commended for their efforts thus far. However, the Government of China is currently considering legalizing domestic trade in medicines from captive-bred Tigers. Overwhelming evidence stresses that a decision to re-open the trade would drive this species to extinction, wasting the significant progress China has made in tiger conservation.

How can legal, controlled trade hurt wild tigers?

Traditional medicine and the consumption of tiger parts is based on using the power of the tiger; wild tigers are seen as far more powerful than those that are bred in captivity and would be much more valuable. There are alternatives that do not require the use of endangered species and are widely available. Moreover, raising tigers to adulthood is very expensive and it would be much less costly to poach tigers in the wild - even a small increase in demand for tiger parts could decimate the 5,000-7,000 tigers that are left. A legal trade would help to launder poached tigers into the market and since the parts wild tigers are virtually indistinguishable from those of captive tigers, it would make enforcement almost impossible. The 1993 ban in China was very successful and it shows that it is possible to reduce demand if the proper steps are taken.

Tiger (farmed) cut in half by smugglers that were caught by Thai highway police May 2004 (Wild Aid Thailand):

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WATCH: The tiger skin trial

You can help to stop the trade in tiger products!!

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Protect Wild Tigers From Poachers

Extensive poaching has decimated a number of species of rare animals, including tigers and the animals they prey on. Yet China is considering a policy that would open its market to tiger parts, which could entice more poaching of wild tigers. Chinese officials promise to keep the ban on wild tiger products. But that guarantee is a thin, unenforceable and inhumane distinction to draw between wild and farmed tiger parts.
Please help protect the last remaining wild tigers from extinction. Sign our petition to China's Department of Wildlife Conservation today, and urge them to keep their effective ban on the tiger part trade.


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Send the Letter to China Ambassador in UK Fu Ying

Ask China to keep its tiger trade ban.

To send the letter to China Ambassador in your country find his email address (or send by post if there is no email address) and use the sample EIA letter (however your own letter could make greater effect):

On the 15th anniversary of the China State Council trade ban on tiger bone and rhino horn, I would like to congratulate China for its tremendous contribution to wildlife conservation, and call your attention to the escalating threats faced by the world’s last wild tigers, which will not survive without China’s continued efforts to conserve the species.

China’s 1993 decision to ban the trade in tiger products deserves credit for reducing the trade in tiger products and allowing the recovery of some tiger populations. However, I also understand that advocates for tiger farming have asked the 1993 ban be lifted in an attempt to prompt the resumption of legal tiger trade within China. I strongly believe that legalizing trade in tiger products within China would be disastrous for wild tigers.

Farming tigers for trade will rekindle the dying demand for tiger parts while increasing poaching pressure on wild tigers. Killing a wild tiger can cost as little as US$10, as opposed to several thousand dollars to breed one, making profit margins from poaching tigers far greater than those from raising them on farms.

Furthermore, legal trade in products from tiger farms would only speed the demise of wild tigers by creating more consumers and simultaneously facilitating the illegal laundering of parts from wild-caught tigers into legal stocks.

With so few tigers remaining in the wild (fewer than 50 in China), the only way to stop their decline is to end the consumption of tiger parts from any source. The traditional Chinese medicine industry already has plentiful and effective substitutes for tiger derivatives and indeed supports the ban as a way to ensure the continued harmony of people and nature.

I therefore respectfully urge the Chinese government to announce its commitment to maintaining the ban in perpetuity. I would also encourage increased investment in more effective law enforcement to help put an end to the trade in tiger parts.

Finally, I would remind the government of its commitments under the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), to phase out tiger farms and to consolidate and destroy stockpiles of tiger parts and derivatives.

Thank you for your consideration of my views, and I look forward to hearing from you in due course.


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SAY 'NO' TO TIGER FARMING

Send the sample letter to China Embassy in your country: Sample letter


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* The Government of China should maintain its comprehensive Tiger trade ban policy.
* The Government of China should continue and strengthen law enforcement efforts against the illegal skin trade in the western parts of the country.
* The Government of China should reject petitions to weaken policy.
* The Government of China should establish a moratorium on Tiger breeding, and any future breeding programs should be coordinated with the aid of international efforts. Handling of current captive tiger populations, including those in large breeding facilities should be handled humanely.
* Stocks of Tiger carcasses and their parts must be destroyed, helping to ensure the ban remains effective.
* Financial support for Tiger conservation in China should be directed at habitat conservation and protection measures.
* The Government of China should heighten awareness of its current ban on Tiger trade, especially in western parts of the country where awareness is lacking, issuing a clear public statement that consumption of Tiger parts for Chinese medicine or tonics under any circumstances is not permitted. Consumption of other big cat species should also be deterred.

The tiger is one of the most revered, feared and popular species on Earth. It is perhaps the most powerful symbol of our planet’s endangered wildlife and an important cultural icon for the people of China. With these recommendations, China will help to ensure that the tiger remain a living icon for generations to come.

Facts:

Tiger wine - the sign of illegal trade in China

Captive-breeding farms suspected of trying to get ban lifted on tiger parts.

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What looks like a decoration is actually a bottle of wine made with crushed tiger bone. A survey found 17 instances of tiger wine for sale on Chinese auction Web sites, with one seller offering a 5,000-bottle lot.

MSNBC staff and news service reports
Updated: 8:36 p.m. ET March 13, 2007

BEIJING - An international network that monitors the wildlife trade said Tuesday that it suspects China is facing domestic pressure to lift its ban on selling tiger parts. Lifting the ban would push the endangered species closer to extinction, the TRAFFIC monitoring network said in a new report.
Tiger skins are valuable and considered status symbols in areas such as Tibet, while bones and other parts of the animal are used in traditional medicines and as aphrodisiacs. There's even wine made with crushed tiger bone.
China banned trade in tiger parts in 1993, but TRAFFIC suspects pressure is growing on the government to lift the ban, especially for tigers bred in captivity.
"To overturn the ban and allow any trade in captive-bred tiger products would waste all the efforts invested in saving wild tigers. It would be a catastrophe for tiger conservation," said Steven Broad, executive director of TRAFFIC, a monitoring program set up by World Wildlife Fund and the World Conservation Union.
"The tiger survives today thanks in large part to China's prompt, strict and committed action," Broad said in a statement.

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TRAFFIC, which is based in Gland, Switzerland, said it had evidence that investors in large-scale captive-breeding tiger farms wanted trade legalized for their products. It estimated there are now about 4,000 tigers in these farms.
"The farms keep captive-bred tigers together in large enclosures — a condition not found in the wild — and feed live animals to them before busloads of tourists," WWF said in a statement. "Such farmed tigers are unsuitable for reintroduction into the wild."
Lieberman, director of WWF’s global species program, stated that "allowing trade in tiger parts to resume, even if they are from captive-bred tigers, would inevitably lead to an increase in demand for such products."
"And a legal market in China," she added, "could give poachers across Asia an avenue for ‘laundering’ tigers killed in the wild, especially as farmed and wild tiger products are indistinguishable in the marketplace."
The wildlife groups estimate that fewer than 7,000 tigers remain in the wild. About 9,000 exist in captivity, the majority in the United States and China.
A TRAFFIC survey documented 17 instances of tiger bone wine for sale on Chinese auction Web sites, with one seller offering a 5,000-bottle lot.
Another survey found that Tibetan demand for tiger skin clothing is on the rise, with about 3 percent of Tibetans in major towns claiming to own tiger or leopard skin garments even though they knew it was illegal.

Tiger skin costumes at Litang Horse Festival, Sichuan Province, China Aug 2005 (Wright WPSI / EIA)

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More info

IFAW report:
Made In China: Farming Tigers To Extiction
IFAW campaign:
Tigers Under Threat: Keep the Trade in Tiger Parts Illegal

NEWS

13.02.2008 Indonesia failing to halt tiger decline.

JAKARTA (AFP) - Indonesia has failed to stop poaching of endangered Sumatran tigers, with body parts of the big cats for sale at retail outlets on the island they call home, a wildlife group warned Wednesday.
Despite a national law against trade in tiger parts, a survey across 28 towns on Sumatra in 2006 found tiger teeth, claws, skin, whiskers and bones openly for sale, wildlife monitoring group TRAFFIC said in a new report.

The survey estimated that at least 23 tigers were killed to supply the products seen in 10 percent of 326 retail outlets, which included goldsmiths, souvenir and traditional Chinese medicine shops, the British-based group said.

That number was lower than an estimate of 52 tigers killed per year in 1999-2000, Julia Ng, the report's lead author, said in a statement on the report, but added that this was not a positive development.

"Sadly, the decline in availability appears to be due to the dwindling number of tigers left in the wild," she said.

Authorities in the northern Sumatran cities of Medan and Pacur Batu, two main hubs for tiger trading, appeared to have not taken action against illegal traders despite TRAFFIC supplying their details, the group said.

"Successive surveys continue to show that Sumatran tigers are being sold body part by body part into extinction," said the director of WWF International's species programme, Susan Lieberman.

TRAFFIC is a joint programme of the WWF and the World Conservation Union.

"This is an enforcement crisis. If Indonesian authorities need enforcement help from the international community they should ask for it. If not, they should demonstrate they are taking enforcement seriously," Lieberman said.

The Sumatran tiger population is estimated at around 400 to 500. Poaching as well as deforestation to make way for pulp, paper and palm oil plantations are the main factors behind the animal's decline.

"It doesn't take a mathematician to work out that the Sumatran tiger will disappear like the Javan and Bali tigers if the poaching and trade continues," TRAFFIC's Ng added.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono launched a 10-year conservation strategy for the Sumatran tiger last December.

BEIJING, May 31 - China has pledged to uphold a ban on the trade of tiger parts

(Reuters)
China has pledged to uphold a ban on the trade of tiger parts, ending speculation that it would bow to commercial interests and seek permission to relax the ban for captive-bred tigers at an international meeting next month.
China banned the sale of tiger bones and hides in 1993, virtually wiping out the market for traditional medicines made from tiger parts.
But there had been speculation that China, under pressure from commercial breeders, would push to relax the ban at the meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITIES) at the The Hague in June.
State Forestry Administration (SFA) spokesman Liu Xiongying said the government remained committed to the ban, the official China Daily newspaper reported on Thursday.
"China will strengthen the crackdown on illegal trade of tiger parts and forge cooperation with other countries to protect tiger habitats," the paper quoted Liu as saying.
A SFA official contacted by Reuters by telephone confirmed the decision and denied that China would apply to have the ban lifted at the CITIES meeting.
"At this stage, we are keeping this ban," the official said, who declined to leave his name.
Tiger bones are used to treat everything from skin disease and convulsions to laziness, malaria and rheumatism. Tiger penis is believed by many to be a powerful aphrodisiac.
Commercial breeders said allowing the trade in parts from captive-bred tigers would eventually help preserve
the animal.
China has only about 30 tigers living in the wild but keeps about 5,000 tigers in several breeding centres.
Conservationists have warned that any relaxation of the ban would result in a massive surge in demand for tiger parts and increased poaching of wild tigers.
There are believed to be only 5,000 to 7,000 tigers remaining in the wild, with the largest number in India.

KUALA LUMPUR, AFP - 05/14/2007

Criminal gangs are using Malaysia as a hub for exporting millions of dollars worth of wildlife for the Chinese market, wildlife officials said Sunday. Officials said trafficking of wildlife had hit alarming levels in Malaysia, which also plays the role of source and consumer. Traders from Indonesia's Sumatra and Borneo island regularly smuggle the animals to middlemen in Malaysia, said Chris Shepherd of wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic. "Criminal syndicates are mainly behind the trafficking. It is growing at an alarming rate," he told AFP. "Unless tough measures are put in place to contain the illegal activity, it will have a serious impact on the wildlife, including animals in the Malaysian jungle, which are also being poached," Shepherd added. Traffic is a joint program of the WWF and the World Conservation Union. Shepherd said among the most sought after creatures are fresh water turtles, tortoises, many species of snakes, Pangolins, Sumatran rhino, tiger and Sambar deer. Shepherd said the Malaysian middlemen smuggle the animals to Thailand and then to China to be eaten, adding that meat from the Sambar deer and Sun Bear is also consumed in Malaysia. Six people have been arrested so far this year for attempting to smuggle snakes and pangolins into Thailand, said Pazil Abdul Patah, a wildlife official in the northeastern Kelantan state, which shares a porous border with Thailand. "I estimate the annual value of the illegal trade to be worth millions of dollars," he told AFP, adding that "the public have to come forward to tip us off of the illegal activity." "If the trafficking is not stopped, I fear our wildlife will become extinct," he warned. Pangolins, or scaly anteaters, found in Asia and Africa, are considered a delicacy in China and are prized for their use in traditional medicine.
Source: ChinaPost.com

This tiger was killed in a trailer for fur and inner parts for Chinese Medicine:

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More petitions for big cats:

Save the Amur Leopard

Protect the Clouded Leopards

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