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International Tiger Day: Call to end tiger poaching and illegal trade!

Today is International Tiger Day! We wanted to use this day to highlight some of our our own rescued tigers, and raise awareness for the growing issue of tiger poaching by calling for an end to tiger farming and the tiger trade. We joined forces with other international NGOs in making a statement. 

© FOUR PAWS | Mihai Vasile

There are more tigers in captivity than in the wild

Did you know that the wild tiger population is less than 4,000 animals? These last remaining wild tigers are threatened by the illegal tiger trade industry, who can make a huge  profit from nearly all of their body parts, from skins and bones to teeth and claws.. Tiger parts are used largely as, exotic, luxury products that represent social status, including tiger skin rugs for luxury home decor or trinkets made from teeth. Tiger bones are also used in traditional Chinese  medicines, where the bones are soaked in wine and consumed to alleviate a range of aliments, none of which have been proven to have any scientific effect.    .


Besides the poaching of wild tigers, another supplier of  tiger parts and their derivatives,  are captive tigers  farms, which are located mainly in South-East-Asia and China. Approximately 7,000 to 8,000 captive tigers are currently kept in tiger farms, zoos and smaller facilities.. While tiger farms have expanded rapidly over the last few decades, the wild tiger population has declined by 95 percent over the last 100 years. 2016 has also witnessed  a significant surge in tiger poaching and trade, with India seeing more tigers killed in the first five months of 2016 than in the whole of 2015. The countries in which tiger populations are beginning to show signs of recovery have high levels of political commitment, strong laws and enforcement – and no tiger farms. Where tiger farms are present, they only serve as an obstacle to recovery. It is time to wake up to the alarm bells. We need to end tiger farming and all trade in tiger parts and products from wild and captive tigers now, before tigers disappear from the world’s wildlife forever!


If wild tiger populations are to be salvaged and secured, the global public must provide support to end tiger farming and all trade in tiger parts and products from wild and captive tigers. We the undersigned, including those with technical expertise in managing captive tigers, stand ready to provide assistance to achieve the goals of Zero Demand for tiger parts and products and Zero Poaching of tigers.

Here you find the official letter that we and 45 other international NGOs signed.