Sunday 15 November 2009

Tiger Skins For Sale

Tiger skins for sale are almost the norm in China. It seems to entirely accepted and the ban on trade of tiger parts is largely unenforced. The profits are so large that they create high levels of motivation for the traders. And the profits are getting larger as the tiger becomes scarcer. It is all about supply and demand of course. It the demand side is maintained or rises and the supply side diminishes than prices rise, obviously. As prices rise the the trade becomes more profitable encouraging more traders so the trade becomes harder to stop.

And so as the tiger edges towards extinction in the wild the process of extinction speeds up. It is almost too late unless a massive effort is put in place and that effort must come from the Chinese authorities. Demand must dry up because it is all but impossible to protect the tiger in the wild.

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The video below was taken in Linxia, China, where an employee of the Environmental Investigation Agency, a UK based charity went undercover to act as a buyer

One thing that jumps of the page is that videos about this trade are hardly watched. People are not interested, really; it is true and it is this background apathy that allows the trade to continue. The burden to stop falls on a relatively small number of people. There really needs to be a ground swell of dissent at the loss of the tiger in the wild and tiger skins of sale is just one part of the problem.

The whole of the tiger is used as a product. Tiger bone is more valuable than its skin and particularly the forelimbs. It is sick.

Apparently one route for this obnoxious trade is that poached tigers in India where protection is lax are transported via Nepal to China (and other countries in Asia) where they like to eat the tiger for medicinal purposes.

A big push to preserve the tiger has been instigated by Russia, surprisingly. Something big needs to happen to save the tiger.

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