WWF: Tiger Farming in Asia Must End; US has Role to Play
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is using International Tiger Day today to call on governments across Asia to investigate all tiger breeding centers and close any operations involved in the illegal tiger trade. WWF is also calling on the US to do more to address its own large captive tiger population.
Closure of operations in Asia linked to illegal tiger trade, commonly referred to as ‘tiger farms’ to distinguish them from legitimate zoos or captive breeding facilities established for conservation purposes, would significantly boost efforts to save the world’s remaining wild tigers.
According to the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), there are more than 200 tiger breeding centers across Asia ranging in size from tiny to huge. These centers, spread across China, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand, jointly house between 7,000-8,000 captive tigers – far more than the estimated 3,900 tigers left in the wild.
Many of these tiger breeding centers – which often include entertainment attractions like Thailand’s notorious Tiger Temple – are likely to be involved in the illegal trade of tigers and tiger products, particularly given their incredibly high operating costs. They undermine efforts to protect wild tigers and to halt the illegal trade by complicating enforcement activities, and by normalizing and legitimizing the sale of tiger parts and products, which in turn drives up demand…
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