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February 22, 2007
Selling the Tiger to Save it?
"Enforcement of wildlife laws in China is lax, one of the main reasons that smuggling is so rampant and this laxity will extend to the tiger farms rendering any system of monitoring ineffetive. In the event of the lifting of the ban on trading in tiger parts,
laundering of wild animals through legal channels will thus be the more than likely outcome."
Dr. Xu Hongfa, China Director of TRAFFIC agreed with Indian wildlife experts that farmed tigers will always be more expensive than poached ones, doing little to dampen the profitability of poaching.
What the Chinese government really needs to be focussing on is habitat conservation, Dr.u says. He blames the dramatic depletion of China’s tigers on an equally dramatic loss of habitat for the animals as a result of deforestation and expansion of large-
scale agriculture. Until some of its natural environment is brought back, no amount of breeding will save the wild tiger, he concludes.
Source: The Hindu dated 21/02/07
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