Showing posts with label price of tigers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label price of tigers. Show all posts

Monday 27 September 2021

Body parts of America's 10,000 tigers end up in China in their medicine

Tigers are still "the chosen one" for wildlife traffickers. There are many other animals which are also abused and used but I would suggest that the tiger is the number one product to be sold. And the number one consumer is China. I'm told that the Chinese government realise that traditional Chinese medicine doesn't really work but they allow the businesses to flourish in the interests of trade and keeping the peace. 

Tiger found in Houston residence was taken to a rescue facility
Tiger found in Houston residence was taken to a rescue facility. Photo: Godofredo A Vasquez/AP.

The trouble is that President Xi has no concern about wildlife conservation and in particular the tiger population which is being decimated by Chinese traditional medicine due to poaching. Yes, China has a large number of tiger farms where tigers are treated as livestock, like cows, but when you treat tigers like that you inevitably devalue their status in the world to the point where there is illegal activity in obtaining tiger body parts from other parts of the world. Tiger farms muddy tiger conservation.

It is estimated that there are10,000 tigers in America because America has either none or very lax tiger ownership regulations across their 50 states. The rules do vary between states but, for example, in nine states there are no permit or licence requirements whatsoever. In general, the requirement is very simple, a USDA conservation label form and a $30 licence according to The Guardian newspaper.


And because there is such a vast number of tigers in captivity in America (about three times the number of wild tigers across the entire planet) when they conveniently disappear, as many do, you can probably assume that their bodies and body parts are being shipped out to China in illegal activity to be turned into Chinese traditional medicine. Tiger body parts are enormously valuable.

Tiger penis products?
Tiger penis products? Photo in public domain.

The authorities in America, through primarily the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, store about 1.3 million confiscated animal products but they say that this is the tip of the iceberg. They confiscate about 10% of all goods that pass through US ports. It's a losing battle it seems to me.

ASSOCIATED: Picture of seven frozen tiger cubs for Asian body parts market

John Platt, the editor of the Revelator, the media partner of the Centre for Biological Diversity said: "I would not be surprised if US tigers were turning up in China."

He suggested this because so many big cats in the US disappear, he said. There is a huge black market because the financial value of tiger bone and tiger penises (as two examples) is high. In a capitalist society where business is governed by market forces, if a product is valuable, businesses find a way to produce it or farm it and sell it internationally, if needs be. 

That's why I think we can say with some confidence that many of the 10,000 tigers in America end up in the form of body parts in Beijing, China. It is an unedifying thought. Humankind has debased and degraded the mighty tiger to a consumer product, no more. 

Pink tiger bone jewellery made by deboning a living tiger
Pink tiger bone jewellery made by deboning a living tiger. Photo: The Tiger Mafia (believed).

The animal is worth more dead than alive and when they are farmed in China, they live miserable lives before slaughter. Some have their bones extracted while they are alive! It's a complete failure of conservation even if 3,500 Bengal tigers are still in existence in India and Bangladesh. There used to be 100,000 of them at the turn of the 20th century.

Sunday 11 March 2012

Tiger parts are as profitable as Apple products

Tiger steak washed down with the best tiger bone wine is definitely on the menu in restaurants throughout China. The raw meat might start its journey in tiger farms in China or perhaps in Bangkok, Thailand. Tigers are treated like livestock in many parts of Asia. Half a ton of tiger meat was recently unearthed in Bangkok with bones (for the wine) all destined I suspect for the major restaurants of Shanghai where clients believe it will improve their virility especially if they eat a $6,000 (USD) tiger penis. Man that really does make you feel superhuman....The bones of the tiger's forelimbs are prized too. It is all completely senseless.

Burma is a major trader and so are Malaysia and Vietnam. The business, built on corrupt officials, pathetic enforcement of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) and mafia masterminds, is worth billions of bucks. And you know what? As the tiger becomes rarer and rarer as a result of this senseless slaughter, the tiger parts become more and more desirable and expensive and so the profit margins go up. It is self generating. Until it is all over.

In Asia it seems that everyone is abusing the tiger, which is fast becoming extinct in the wild. It is a shame that the tiger's range or distribution is in Asia. That is not a racist remark. It is a simple fact that countries like Burma and China are horribly corrupt and have a disregard for animal welfare.  The illegal trade in tiger parts would not exist but for the corruption of officials. In India the Bengal tiger is often poached from tiger reserves with the assistance of corrupt wardens (I allege this).

For example, some of the so called "private zoos" in Thailand are in fact tiger farms or wildlife farms. Documents are falsified and inspections evaded or officials collude in the illegal trade.

I haven't mentioned traditional Chinese medicine. Did I say "medicine"? I shouldn't because it isn't. It is, though, the single biggest contributor to the extirpation of the tiger on the planet.

What chance does the tiger have in the wild? Pretty much a zero chance of survival. It will all be over in about 20 years and we can then stop bemoaning the tiger's gradual extinction on the planet and move on. We will be left with generic tigers (hybrids or moggie tigers) in farm cages or zoos and that will be that.

A tiger's body is worth £215,000 in China (2008 and going up). Here are some more prices:

Tiger ProductPrice $ USD per KgPlaceDate
Boneup to 300Russia2002
Bone140-370South Korea, Taiwan2009
Penis Soup320Taiwan2009
Humerus boneup to 3190Seoul2009
Eyes (2)170Taiwan2009
Src: and Sunquists

China is a CITES contracting party.  See also Bengal tiger facts.

Monday 31 October 2011

Tiger cubs the same price as domestic kittens!

Generic tiger cubs sell for about $500 to $1000 (USD) in the United States (1). Generic tigers are non-purebred or a hybrid subspecies of tiger.

Purebred domestic kittens of any breed sell for similar amounts. Does this strike you as odd? It can only mean that there is low demand for tigers in the USA and/or there are lots of tigers and not that many buyers.

The reason is probably that individuals who keep tigers as pets decide to breed them and that leads to oversupply. It also probably means that the tigers are more valuable dead for their body parts for Asian medicine. This may encourage the unnecessary killing of tigers in captivity. A major factor in the economics of buying and selling tigers is the cost of maintenance - very high. Do individuals who keep generic tigers have a route into the Asian medicine market? I don't know but I would expect that they do.

The fact that tiger cubs are the same price as purebred kittens is also a measure of the value that we put on the tiger. It is an extremely rare animal. There are about 3,000 in the wild on the planet. So why isn't it worth more?

We genuinely don't care enough about the tiger. For that reason it will become extinct in the wild in due course.

Associated page: Tigers for Sale.

Note:  (1)

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