Wednesday 21 August 2019

Two tigers seized from traffickers every week, report finds

Closure of tiger farms among urgent steps needed to protect species, wildlife summit hears

Two illegally smuggled tigers per week are being seized by officials, according to a report, but this represents only a tiny fraction of those being killed.

The report, by the wildlife trade experts Traffic, was released at a summit of 183 countries under the Convention in the International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), where many delegates have called for stronger action.

Traffic also found a surge since 2012 in seized carcasses, skins and bones from tiger farms. International trade in the species is banned, but the researchers said the captive-breeding facilities, mainly in China, undermine their protection by maintaining demand in domestic markets and enabling the laundering of wild tiger products.

There are fewer than 4,000 tigers in the wild but more than 7,000 in tiger farms, which sometimes masquerade as zoos. In 2016, more than 180 animals were seized at a tiger temple in Thailand.

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