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Stop the Slaughter – Stop Wearing Tiger Skins


13th Jan. 2006


NGOS RALLY TOGETHER TO STOP THE TIGER SKIN TRADE

This is the simple message behind a new initiative started this month by a coalition of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) aimed at raising awareness among the tiger and leopard skin wearers in Tibet and western China, many of whom are unaware of the devastating impact the skin trade is having on big cat populations.

Information is being disseminated through an exhibition of photographs, posters, leaflets and an awareness film in the Tibetan language. The film, produced by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) with the support of Global Tiger Patrol (GTP), contains shocking footage obtained during a recent EIA and WPSI survey of the trade across the Tibetan plateau where the true and horrific scale of tiger and leopard skin use was revealed.

The initiative was launched at Kalachakra, a major spiritual event in the Tibetan Buddhist calendar, which is currently taking place at Amravati, southern India. Tens of thousands of Tibetans from all over the world will come face to face with the cruel reality of the trade as the coalition displays stark images tracing the story of the tiger from the jungles of India, to a brutal death at the hand of poachers, to the final indignity of being reduced to a fashionable ornament for Tibetan costumes.

Posters and information leaflets, produced with the assistance of The Fund for the Tiger, along with the awareness film will be distributed amongst visitors to the Kalachakra by representatives of Khawakarpo Tibet Culture Centre who are manning a stall at the festival.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has himself condemned the illegal trade in tiger and leopard skin, and on 9th January addressed the crowds at the Kalachakra stating that he had been very embarrassed to see photographs of people wearing banned animal furs and skins in Tibet. He also commended Tibetans working for animal welfare.

Belinda Wright, Executive Director of WPSI, said in New Delhi today: “We hope that the shocking images being used in the material will encourage Tibetans to abandon the cruel practice of decorating costumes with tiger, leopard or otter skins.”


 

 

 

 

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