Does the world have enough tigers left to feed the unending and insatiable appetite of the Chinese people to consume it – yes, eat it – for medicinal purposes? I doubt it. All the time we are reminded of the impossibility of stopping this.
This website is blocked by China because I have consistently argued for a change within China by the authorities to curb the importation of tigers and the farming of tigers within China to supply the Chinese medicine market. The Chinese government does nothing to stop the trade in the importation of tigers and tiger parts despite being a signatory to CITES. CITES is an agreement amongst nations to stop this sort of trade. The reason is corruption and a lack of will to do the right thing.
Personally I can’t label health treatments that contain tiger bones and other tiger parts, “medicine”. It is pure quackery. No more and no less.
Why am I back on this never ending subject? Well it is the depressing news that a consignment of 16 tiger cubs has been stopped by Thai police and the driver arrested. At least the Thai government is complying with their obligations under CITES (they have also signed up to the agreement).
The driver of the lorry that contained the 16 cubs in small crates, has been charged with the illegal possession and trafficking of an endangered species. As we know the tiger is highly endangered.
For the record, the lorry was stopped in Khon Kaen Province:
The driver was on his way to the province of Udon Thani which is further north near the border with Laos. The tigers had come from Bangkok.
It seems they would have been taken to Laos and then to China. Laos has a border with China in the north. What is Laos doing about this trade? Laos is also a signatory to CITES. What good is that?
It shocks me that a driver thought he could drive a lorry load of tigers across the border to Laos. Clearly that border is porous and lacks proper controls.
A lot of conservationists are trying to save the tiger in the wild. They try and protect the tiger in reserves. Yet, the main source of the problem – the demand for tiger body parts – goes unaddressed by the people best placed to stop it: the government of China. Shame on them and the consumers of tiger medicine who are sadly so out of touch with reality.