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China calls out Troops to stop the Burning of Skins in Tibet

15th Feb., 2006


Large numbers of troops and police are patrolling the streets of Rebkong (Quinghai Province), to prevent a bonfire of skins originally scheduled for 12 February 2006. It appears that the Chinese government has banned the public burning of chuba costumes trimmed with tiger, leopard and otter skins.

The authorities apparently saw the planned gathering and bonfire as a sign of support for the Dalai Lama who had strongly and repeatedly condemned the wearing of endangered animal skins in Tibet, during the Kalachakra festival held in January 2006 in India. The Tibet Info Net, however, stated today that "the campaign has been welcomed by different groups as a Tibetan contribution towards wildlife conservation and, in fact, is nothing more than the implementation of existing Chinese environmental laws and regulations."

In August 2005, a joint investigation by WPSI and EIA revealed the shocking scale of the use of tiger, leopard and otter skins across the Tibetan plateau. During the Kalachakra, WPSI, EIA and other organisations launched an awareness campaign, detailing the terrible consequences of the tiger and leopard skin trade. Additionally, dialogue with the Dalai Lama's office ensured that His Holiness was fully aware of the problem, and was moved enough to speak out against it during the Kalachakra.

The message is spreading across the Tibetan plateau and the wearing of endangered animal skins now even invites public ridicule. The Tibetan people who are burning skins should be applauded for trying to stop the illegal trade in wildlife skins and for implementing existing wildlife laws.”


 

 

 

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