Information Regarding Farming of Tigers
The farming of tigers is a practice that is perhaps more cruel than anything else that involves big cats. And the overall business involves not just tigers. Lions, crocodiles, bears and other carnivores are also bred in captivity - in other words 'farmed' for use of their body parts for a variety of purposes. Tiger skins serve as rugs, parts of clothes; their bones and teeth are powdered and used in traditional oriental medicines; their brain, heart, meat, claws, whiskers - in short every part of their body is used to serve an array of ridiculous purposes. And it's one of the biggest threats to tigers worldwide.
A shady and lucrative business, tiger farming enjoys the support of corrupt officials and poaching enterprises in China and parts of Southeast Asia. In places like Burma and Thailand tiger parts are openly available for sale in cities. In zoos and captive centers across China thousands of tigers are kept in miserable conditions in small cages and slaughtered daily to feed the huge market that revolves around exotic animal parts.
Supporters of this trade claim that since captive tigers serve the purpose, tiger farming actually 'protects' wild tigers by sparing them from poachers. This, however, is not true. Tiger farming continues to fuel the market for the oriental medicines that make use of tiger parts, thus hurting the cause of tigers. Plus, poachers still go after wild tigers since they are cheaper to obtain.
Recently, in a significant move towards conservation of tigers, CITES, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, has issued a notification to stop tiger farming in member countries. A decision welcomed by conservationists around the world, this will serve to curb the cruel practice. However, it remains to be seen as to how effectively it will be implemented by the Chinese government which has so far been reluctant to act against openly operating tiger farms. At the same time it will also temporarily increase the demand for wild tigers greatly and necessitate greater vigil in reserves and forests against poachers. Still, one thing is for sure. If the tiger is to survive anywhere in the wild, the use of its parts in any form or place has to be abolished permanently.
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