As delegates prepare for the 3rd Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation, from April 12 to 14 in New Delhi, we the undersigned urge Ministers to make a commitment at this meeting to Zero Demand for tiger parts in order to achieve Zero Poaching.
Conservation successes are happening in Tiger Range Countries with strong laws and where wild tigers are valued for the role they play in the ecosystem, compared to those Tiger Range Countries where ‘tiger farming’ exists and where they are valued as a commodity.
It is time for Tiger Range Countries to unite in a commitment to end tiger farming and to end all domestic and international trade in parts and derivatives of tigers from captive facilities.
Many facilities that keep tigers are engaged in legal and illegal trade, both domestic and international, in parts and derivatives of tigers.How can we expect demand-reduction campaigns to work in China if the Government itself tells consumers that it is acceptable to buy tiger skins?
Tigers in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and the Russian Far East are still being targeted for markets in China and for Chinese consumers in Myanmar and Lao PDR. There is also a thriving market in Vietnam and Indonesia.
Tigers are not just killed for their skins; their bones are used to brew ‘tiger bone wine’, their meat is sold as a delicacy and their teeth and claws are sold as charms.
We collectively call on the 3rd Asian Ministerial Conference on Tigers to urge countries with facilities which keep or breed tigers for trade to demonstrate genuine commitment to tiger conservation by:
- including a commitment to work towards Zero Demand in the concluding Declaration of the 3rd Asian Ministerial Conference on Tigers;
- improving enforcement against captive facilities engaged in illegal trade in tiger parts and derivatives;
- prohibiting legal domestic trade in tiger parts and derivatives from captive facilities;
- stopping further breeding to phase out tiger farms;
- destroying stockpiles of tiger parts and derivatives.