|Thailand’s Tiger Temple drops court charges in dramatic climb down
CWI PRES RELEASE
30 July 2010
legal representatives of Thailand’s notorious Tiger Temple in
Kanchanaburi dramatically backed down in a Thai court today, dropping
all charges against conservationists.
The Temple, which houses
around 60 tigers, is a popular destination where tourists pay to have
their photos taken in close proximity to tigers.
and animal welfare groups have long held deep concerns about the
facility. In 2008 Care for the Wild International (CWI) released a
report detailing animal abuse, illegal trade, and public safety issues,
following a three-year investigation.
Following the publication
of an article in the Thai Post last year exposing the cruelty and
illegal activities at the facility, the temple brought criminal and
civil defamation charges against prominent conservationist Edwin Wiek
of Wildlife Friends Foundation of Thailand, and two others. After
months of legal wrangling, the temple withdrew the charges today when
evidence provided by the Thai Department of National Parks effectively
vindicated Mr Wiek’s comments.
Mark Jones, Programmes
Director of CWI said, “We are delighted that the Tiger Temple has
backed down. Having sensed the weight of the evidence against them, the
Tiger Temple has clearly opted for a quick and quiet conclusion to this
case, hoping to brush the issues under the table”.
this is a very positive step in the right direction, the road to
victory for the Tiger Temple tigers is likely to be a long one. “With
more people than ever flooding through the gates of the Tiger Temple
each week and now talk of a second facility being built, it is more
important than ever that we continue to draw the world’s attention to
the plight of the Temple tigers” said Mr Jones.
If you would like more information, please visit the CWI website, www.careforthewild.com.