Protecting the environment with intelligence

Tiger Farming


Caged tiger (c) EIA

Caged tiger (c) EIA

If the wild tiger is to survive, then demand for all parts from all sources must be stopped. A lobby of businessmen, tiger farmers, tiger bone wine manufacturers and economists have argued that farming tigers can save them in the wild by flooding markets with a cheap alternative.

EIA and more than 40 other organisations believe the economics of tiger farming simply don’t add up and that a legalised trade in farmed tigers would be disastrous; it will always be cheaper to kill a tiger in the wild than raise one in captivity, the criminals involved in the trade will not be deterred by a legal market, which will provide a means to launder illegally sourced tiger parts, and consumer research shows wild tiger parts would become a premium.

The World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies, attached to the Chinese State Administration for Traditional Medicine, is opposed to the use of tiger bone, having advocated alternatives since 1993. However, independent investigations have uncovered the illegal sale of tiger bone wine (as a tonic and luxury gift) and meat from the tiger farms, but no-one has been punished.

One Chinese Government department has already sanctioned the legalisation of trade in the skins of farmed tigers and leopards, despite Premier Wen Jiabao’s commitment in St Petersburg in 2010 that China would work with the rest of the world to double the wild tiger population.

Read more on EIA’s analysis as to why tiger farming is not a solution. You can also find information from our colleagues at the International Tiger Coalition.