Posted Tuesday , June 12, 2007 at 00:38
New Delhi: Tigers in India are now facing a new threat from outside India's borders. The Chinese government is asking for an opening of the ban on trade in tiger parts and a decision will be taken by the international community in the next 24 hours.
Tiger poaching is cheap - it costs thousands to breed a tiger in captivity and that's the crux of the debate on tigers. The Chinese government is now pushing hard to allow trade in tigers. At The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) that regulates international trade in wildlife.
P K Sen from Ranthambore Foundation says, “It costs 10,000 dollars to breed a tiger and Rs 10 to poach one in the wild.”
Every part of the tiger - from its bones to skin to urine - is used in traditional Chinese medicine.
In 1993, China was forced to ban the practice. But now, having bred 5000 tigers in captivity, China wants to end the ban. But this would boost tiger poaching in neighbouring countries and so, a group of international conservation groups - under the banner of "Endthetigertrade" are urging the Chinese to withdraw the proposal.
Wildlife conservationist Belinda Wright says, "The proposal to open the trade is the single largest threat to the tiger."
The proposal will be taken up at CITES. While India has prepared a document that has strongly opposed the opening of the trade, some Indian conservationists are still skeptical.
Sen adds, “This Hindi chini bhai bhai will not work. This is costing us our tigers.”
The next twenty-four hours are crucial for the Indian Tiger. Will it be allowed to survive or will it end up at a medicine shop in China.