|Chinese authorities stop auction of tiger bone wine in China
4th December 2011
response to a press release put out by IFAW about the imminent auction
of at least 400 bottles of tiger bone wine in Beijing on 3rd December,
thousands of conservationists from around the world emailed the Chinese
authorities urging them to halt the auction. We are happy to note that
the CITES Management Authority of China took action and stopped the
high-profile auction. Forest policeman have apparently initiated an
investigation into the matter.
Below is the email that was sent
by WPSI to the Chinese authorities. It was copied to hundreds of tiger
conservationists in India.
From: Belinda Wright
Date: 3 December 2011
Subject: Tiger Bone Wine to be auctioned today in China
To: Dr Meng Xianlin
Executive Director, CITES MA of China
China State Forestry Administration, Beijing, China
Dear Dr Meng Xianlin,
in India are distressed to hear from IFAW that an auction is due to
take place in Beijing today, 3rd December 2011, that will feature at
least 400 bottles of tiger bone wine. This is not in keeping with the
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s stated commitment in 2010 to end the
trade in tiger products, and we urge you to stop this illegal sale of
tiger bone wine.
tigers are in crisis everywhere, but no more so than in India where
tigers are being pursued mercilessly by poachers to feed the demand for
their body parts, including the bones that are required to make tiger
bone wine. We understand that the Beijing company that is conducting
the auction has made the unlikely claim that the wine was produced
before China banned the trade in tiger bone products in 1993. However,
old or new, this trade is forbidden by CITES. The sale of any tiger
bone wine can only stimulate the demand for tiger products and the
poaching of wild tigers.
implore you not to allow this auction of tiger bone wine to take place
and to honour the global ban in the trade of all tiger parts.
commends the Chinese authorities for having stopped the auction, but we
would like to stress that this is far from sufficient. The fact that
such a publicized sale of tiger bone wine almost took place illustrates
how prevalent the tiger trade is in China, and the lack of enforcement.
We have since heard that the Chinese authorities have said that they
cannot confiscate the wine, since it is privately owned and allegedly
produced prior to the 1993 ban. Under the circumstances, it is highly
likely that the source of the wine could have been wild tigers that
were poached in India. Since this large stock of tiger bone wine has
not being seized, it is also likely that it will eventually find its
way back into the market.
China needs to do more to honour its
commitment to end the tiger trade, whether in skins, bones or other
products by getting off the fence on what it terms “legal” trade and by
stopping all trade in all tiger products. The strongest message China
could send to affluent would-be consumers would be to publically
destroy the tiger bone wine that was put up for auction.