"Uphold the ban"
World Bank supports ban on tiger trade, calls for phasing-out of tiger farms
July 9, 2009. GENEVA – The 40 member organizations of the International Tiger Coalition (ITC) applaud remarks by the World Bank today stating that legalizing tiger farming is too great a gamble for the world to take if tigers are to have a future in the wild.
"Having carefully weighed the economics argument, we urge the CITES community to uphold the ban on wild tiger products and for all countries to continue to ban the domestic trade of wild tigers," said Keshav Varma, Director at the World Bank and leader of the Bank's Global Tiger Initiative at the 58th meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Standing Committee.
Tiger trade is prohibited internationally and banned domestically in all tiger range countries, including China - historically the largest market for tiger products.
However, a handful of wealthy businessmen who own large-scale tiger farms are asking the Chinese government to lift China's 16-year ban on tiger trade so that wine and other products made from tiger parts can be sold domestically.
"Given the unpredictability of the market environment along with the fact that there are only 3,500 tigers in the wild, there is no room for experimentation," said Varma to the ITC. "Commercial trading in tiger parts and its derivatives is not in the interest of wild tiger conservation."
"Farming tigers for trade will only hasten the loss of this irreplaceable species," said Judy Mills, moderator of the International Tiger Coalition (ITC). "The World Bank's groundbreaking statement underscores the fact that tiger trade from any source cannot be allowed if the world wants wild tigers."
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