Conservationists Await Concrete Steps For Phasing Out China’s Tiger Farms
1 June 2007
International Tiger Coalition
Jan Vertefeuille, WWF, +31-626-529-338
Judy Mills, STF, + 31-655-933-423
The Hague – The
International Tiger Coalition, a coalition of 35 organisations working
to save wild tigers, welcomes China’s public statement in support
its successful 14-year tiger trade ban. The coalition calls on the
Chinese government to follow its statement with action by rejecting a
pending petition by tiger farm investors that seeks to overturn the
country’s ban so they can sell products made from the 5,000
captive-bred tigers held in these facilities.
On the eve of the world’s largest international wildlife trade
meeting here, the China Daily on Thursday quoted China’s State
Forestry Administration spokesman Liu Xiongying as saying that the
government remains committed to its ban, in spite of intense pressure
from tiger farm investors to lift it.
This statement contradicts China’s submission on tigers to the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which
makes a case for lifting the country’s highly successful 14-year
ban on domestic trade in tiger parts and products. Delegates from
171 nations will meet in The Hague between 3-15 June to discuss
international wildlife trade and conservation issues.
“It is important that China act consistently, by publicly
clarifying for CITES delegates its plans to keep the ban in place and
destroy stockpiles of tiger products to demonstrate its commitment to
saving wild tigers,” said Dr. Susan Lieberman, director of the
Global Species Programme for WWF.
The 35 organisations of the International Tiger Coalition stand ready
to offer guidance and technical support to China on shutting down its
tiger farms and stepping up law enforcement efforts to stamp out
illegal trade of tiger parts.