2014 :IMPORTANT PLS read the updates sadly from bad to worse
"Without the breath of the tiger there will be no wind, only clouds, and certainly no rain." —The I Ching
CHINA banned the international trade in tiger bones and related products in 1993, and is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which also bars such trade.
But such transactions continue to exist as many tiger parts, such as penises and bones, are commonly believed to increase sexual potency or cure certain illnesses.
Leaders of the global traditional Chinese medicine industry have said that they do not need tiger products and would actually prefer to use alternatives.
Also, alternative, legal industries could potentially take the place of the tiger parts industry.
The WFCMS said the use of endangered species negatively affects the image of traditional Chinese medicine in the international community, and they're urging their members not to use tiger bone or any other parts from endangered wildlife.
According to the Wildlife Conservation Society, it may already be too late for the South China tiger.
Some stabilizing efforts have given hope to the northeast tigers, but even that number is disturbingly low.And In the rest of the country, there are at most 50 tigers left .
These majestic cats are threatened by a shrinking habitat and poachers who continue selling their bodies for use in traditional Chinese medicine, meat, wine, rugs, and coats.
This underground business can no longer continue.
Unfortunately, a lack of strong, consistent enforcement negates efforts to protect the tigers, such as the law banning the use of tiger parts in medicine.
Wildlife organizations are also calling for a reduction in commercial captive breeding operations.
Tiger farms encourage the illegal trade by funneling tiger products into the black market. Captive-bred tigers lack fear of other tigers and humans, making them easy targets for poachers
They're also notoriously cruel operations.
In Guilin, more than 1000 tigers live in very sad conditions : in those farms, tigers crammed several to one small cage, others live in concrete enclosures with only a slit window for exposure to the outdoors, many are starving.
It's not worth it for the farm owners to invest in the tigers' basic needs, like food or vet care, because they're worth more dead than alive.
By letting them die slow deaths, they can slip into a loophole in Chinese law that allows the sale of parts from tigers that have died "naturally" in captivity.
China remains a major consumer of tiger and other Asian big cat products; skins are sought for home decor, taxidermy and bribery, while products such as bone are widely used in traditional Chinese medicines and treatments.
EIA also learns about the role of the Chinese military as major consumers of tiger and other big cat skins and encounters traders continuing to operate with impunity, despite being uncovered by previous EIA investigations.
The wild tiger population must be preserved because it cannot be replaced.
It is why during summer 2009 , all 171 countries represented at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Conference (CITES) agreed that the tiger trade should be banned.
In the Year of the Tiger : China’s tigers need your help.
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UPDATE /June 8:
Sadly the market for wild tiger skins and body parts continues to grow in China and across the world.
Saving the wild tiger is not just about saving a charismatic species. It is about securing a long-term future for tigers, the forests they live in and the people who depend on those forests for their survival. The wild tiger is a symbol of our global efforts to secure a stable environment for our future and combat climate change. Their survival reflects our political commitment to good governance and the fight against corruption. If we can’t save the wild tiger, what can we save?