Tiger Groups Urge President Obama to Raise Tiger Trade Issue with China’s President Xi Jinping

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In an open letter to President Obama, 14 tiger groups have urged the President to raise tiger trade issues with China's President Xi Jinping during his visit to the U.S. this week.

Caged tiger in China (c) EIA

One of the most critical threats to the survival of wild tigers is trade in their meat, skin and bones to satisfy demand driven by wealth, rather than health − for high-status food, drink, home décor and even investment assets." Author Judith Mills.

In an open letter to President Obama, 14 tiger groups, including the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), have urged the President to raise tiger trade issues with China's President Xi Jinping during his visit to the U.S., says author and conservationist Judith Mills who is helping to coordinate the effort.

Go to the Environmental Investigation Agency for additional information about the letter.

Mills, who recently published the book Blood of the Tiger, says though the groups applaud the President for his leadership in the global fight against the poaching and trafficking, more needs to be done. She says if Obama just mentioned the matter to President Xi it could open a game-changing dialogue.

"One of the most critical threats to the survival of wild tigers is trade in their meat, skin and bones to satisfy demand driven by wealth, rather than health − for high-status food, drink, home décor and even investment assets," says Mills. "This demand is fueled by a marked increase in tiger farms in China, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand, where tigers are intensively bred for trade in their parts and products. China alone claims to house more than 5,000 tigers on farms."

The letter which was sent to the President on September 20th, requests the United States take the following action to help compel China to take vital action to protect tigers:

1. Destroy all stockpiles of tiger parts and products and ensure deceased captive bred tigers are incinerated so their parts cannot enter the black market;

2. Review the current certification of China under the Pelly Amendment to the Fisherman’s Act and urge China to phase out tiger farms, as per Decision 14.69 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES);

3. Encourage introduction and adoption of the Big Cat Public Safety Act (HR 3546) so that the keeping and breeding of the more than 5,000 captive tigers in the United States can be phased down to include only the small number needed by legitimate zoos and conservation breeding programs, to set an example of best practice;

4. Ask China and Laos to address the trafficking and sale of tiger parts and products, ivory, rhino horn and other endangered species in and through Laos by Chinese and Laotian nationals; and

5. Encourage adoption of legislation that increases the capacity of the United States to assist in the international effort to combat illegal wildlife trade, ensuring that tigers are emphasized, along with elephants, rhinos and other species.

For the full letter go to the PDF attachment on the right-hand side of the release.

For additional information about the letter go to Environmental Investigation Agency

Or please contact:

JudithMills(at)eia-international.org
(202) 674-4588

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