Monday, 7 April 2014

China’s tiger parks draw ire of animal-cruelty experts

A visit to China’s two largest tiger farms found animals in deplorable conditions and in both places, merchants openly sold bone wine, despite a 1993 ban by China on bone products sourced from domesticated and wild tigers.

McClatchy Foreign Staff

HARBIN, China — The tourists piled into the bus, which took them through a series of gates into an enclosed, snow-covered field. Within minutes, the bus — modified so that a steel cage covered the windows — was surrounded by more than 20 Siberian tigers.

A Toyota Land Cruiser pulled into the enclosure and someone inside tossed out two live chickens that landed near the left side of the bus. Cameras clicked and blood splattered. Within seconds, the tigers had ripped the birds apart.

As inhumane as this scene from February might appear, it is just a small part of what happens each day at China’s “tiger farms.” Sanctioned by the government but accused of routinely violating Chinese laws and international agreements, these farms exist mainly to breed and kill tigers for the marketing of pelts and tiger-bone wine.

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