In advance of the world's largest wildlife trade meeting next week, 35 organisations have launched a powerful, 4-minute television spot urging China to keep its ban on tiger trade.
One of the UK's leading actors, Martin Jarvis, lent his voice to the spot, which details the consequences that reopening legal trade would have on wild tigers. The public service announcement can be viewed at http://www.endtigertrade.org.
Investors in massive, captive tiger breeding centers in China are putting pressure on the Chinese government to lift its successful 14-year-old ban on trade in tiger parts so they can legally sell products like tiger bone wine and tiger meat. The topic is expected to be discussed next week when officials from 171 nations gather for meetings of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in The Netherlands.
"Closing China's tiger markets has helped take the pressure off wild tiger populations across Asia," said Steve Trent of WildAid. "If China lifts its ban, it will make it open season on tigers in the wild. The crime syndicates that control the black market for tiger parts will use such a legal market to 'launder' poached tigers through. By keeping the ban, China will demonstrate its continued commitment and global leadership for tiger conservation."
To oppose such a move, 35 environmental, zoo and animal protection organizations, as well as the traditional Chinese medicine community, have joined together as the International Tiger Coalition. The coalition is calling for an end to trade in tiger parts and products through increased intelligence-led law enforcement and strengthening existing tiger trade bans.
"Next week's CITES meeting gives world leaders an opportunity to speak up for one of the world's most endangered and most hunted animals," said Debbie Banks of the Environmental Investigation Agency. "People around the world who care about tigers must let their governments know that they want them to oppose any resumption of tiger trade anywhere."
Tiger supporters can take action at http://www.endtigertrade.org.