|India says Chinese medicine fuels tiger poaching
By C.K. Nayak, Reuters
September 17, 2009
DELHI - Talks between India and China to try to save the endangered
tiger failed to make much progress, India's environment minister said
The use of tiger parts in Chinese medicine was encouraging the poaching of India's tigers, Jairam Ramesh told reporters.
China was also operating tiger farms in violation of international agreements, which stimulated demand, he said.
speaking after a visit to China, said breeding tigers in captivity went
against the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
"There are about 4,000 tigers bred in captivity in
China. We had discussions with China on this but there is not much
success," he said.
"China is party to CITES. On the CITES, captive breeding of tigers is not allowed."
poaching and loss of natural habitat have caused India's tiger
population to plummet in recent decades, even in large swathes of land
protected as tiger reserves.
Conservationists say the trade in
skin and bones is booming to countries such as China, which has banned
the use of tiger parts in medicine but where everything from fur,
whiskers, eyeballs, to bones, are still used.
"This is the first
time the whole issue of tiger trade and tiger poaching is being
discussed in a political forum," said Belinda Wright, director of the
Wildlife Protection Society of India.
"There's a huge demand coming from China, prices are skyrocketing. India's like a supermarket."
India's latest tiger census counted just 1,411 cats, down from 3,642 in 2002 and around 40,000 a century ago.