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Oceans2Earth strives to assist with local solutions to global problems. O2E was founded in Melbourne, Australia in 2010 for the purpose of providing resources and financial assistance to animal welfare and conservation projects including elephant sanctuary land in Kenya, cat and dog rescue in Africa and community recycled product projects in Asia and Africa. The O2E Foundation aims to facilitate people’s awareness of the impacts of animal tourism, trade and human intervention on the welfare, sustainability and general health of wildlife populations.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Nations in uproar as China rejects closure of tiger farms

The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation reports that the recent meeting of officials at the 62nd Meeting of the Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) resulted in an uproar when China rejected the call for the closure of tiger farms and asked for "evidence that tiger farms encourage poaching of wild tigers".

Although China banned the trade of all tiger parts in 1993, the illegal trade continues and large-scale commercial breeding of tigers is booming with over 5,000 tigers in 20 farms in China. Huh?

Tiger farms breed tigers to farm body parts.
The UK (representing the EU) and India pushed for countries to report on the phasing out of tiger farms and their stocks of tiger products. This was eagerly debated with the final decision agreeing that countries with intensive tiger breeding operations must report on the number of tigers and tiger farms. They must also declare the stockpiles of captive-bred or confiscated tiger parts and propose an action on how these will be secured or destroyed.

The Global Tiger Initiative (GTI) Secretariat reported on all the positive actions taking place to save wild tigers, but closed with an alert to CITES Parties over the “mushrooming” of tiger farms, not just in China but across SouthEast Asia.

India followed up, expressing once more its concern over the lack of reporting on action to phase out tiger farms and over the growing stocks of tiger skins, bones and carcasses that are piling up in freezers on tiger farms. It pointed out that CITES adopted a Decision way back in 2007 (14.69) calling for an end to tiger farming but there has been inadequate reporting on progress.

It asked the CITES meeting to agree a deadline by which Parties must report on actions taken to end farming, and actions to be taken to “consolidate and destroy” stockpiles. India went on to make it clear that CITES must be prepared to address non-compliance in this regard. It was time to get tough.

China was quick off the mark to claim that illegal trade has been well controlled in it country in recent years, that it doesn’t allow trade in tiger bone for medicinal purposes (no mention of its legal skin trade!), that it hasn’t seen any evidence of trade from farmed tigers, and is not aware of tiger farms affecting wild tiger conservation.

Egypt called for demand reduction campaigns that would make the use of tiger parts unfashionable, the USA supported the idea of performance indicators tied to compliance measures and Israel urged CITES to take whatever steps were necessary to ensure Decision 14.69 to phase out tiger farms is implemented.

The wild indian tiger - as it should be!

After two days of debate and even an emotional Chinese outburst, the Notification to CITES Parties (member countries) to be circulated will request:

1. that all Parties with intensive operations breeding tigers on a commercial scale fully implement Decision 14.69 in respect of the number of breeding operations and also the total number of tigers, and
2. all Parties to declare stockpiles of captive-bred or confiscated tiger body parts and derivatives along with actions proposed to “deal with” (originally it said “consolidate and destroy”) the stockpiles (originally said “the same”).


Over 122,000 supporters of the BAN TIGER TRADE campaign have now put their names to the petition, urging the Chinese government to END the trade in tiger parts.

We need to see is a ban on ALL trade of ALL tiger parts from ANY source with a ZERO tolerance policy.

If you haven't already, sign the petition at www.bantigertrade.com.

The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation relies heavily on our donations which are used to fund undercover operations and to send Debbie Banks (Evironmental Investigation Agency) to the CITES convention to put pressure on the Chinese government. Please help us continue to keep these investigations and our tiger protection programmes running by donating here.

Tiger Tracks is being organised by Save Wild Tigers and will be hosted by St Pancras International rail station, in London, from March 1-21, 2013.

The event will benefit EIA and Born Free Foundation, with a mission to raise awareness of the critical plight of the wild tiger and to generate funds to support global yet targeted tiger conservation programmes throughout tiger range countries through promotions, music, entertainment and much more. See you in London!

Thank you to The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and Debbie Banks of EIA for reports.

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