EIA is encouraged to learn that the threat of tiger farming to wild tigers is getting its first hearing at the annual plenary session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), a high-level political advisory body, currently underway in Beijing.
Famed artist Mr Yuan Xikun, a member of the CPPCC since 1993 and a member of the CPPCC Standing Committee since 2008, has tabled a resolution on the issue. As a resolution, it is in effect a statement of concern and not tied to a specific bill or piece of legislation but it is nonetheless the first time the subject has ever been raised in such a high-level forum in China.
Yuan Xikun has long been a supporter of tiger conservation, having attended the International Tiger Summit in St Petersburg in 2010, and he frequently features tigers in his work. His commitment and level of awareness of how tiger farming and trade in captive-bred tiger parts undermines wild tiger conservation is refreshing and gives us real hope that there is scope for change in China.
EIA respectfully urges China’s legislators and leadership to take immediate action to audit, consolidate and destroy all stocks of tiger parts and products that are no longer required for judicial purposes so that no more tiger skins, bones, teeth, claws, meat or other body parts can be traded, legally or illegally.
Building on the momentum we hope is generated by this resolution, China’s State Forestry Administration should ensure tigers are not included in the new list of species that can be bred and utilised for commercial purposes under the revised Wildlife Protection Law.
EIA further urges China’s leadership to reach out to relevant experts to start planning the phase-out of tiger farms.
An informal translation of the resolution text is available here.
For more on EIA’s work to investigate and expose trade in the parts and products of captive tiger, read the report Hidden in Plain Sight and visit WhereRTheTigers; for our analysis of China’s revised Wildlife Protection Law, see here.