IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) applauds a Chinese government order which stopped the sale of hundreds of bottles of Tiger Bone Wine at an auction in Beijing on Saturday 3 December.
Beijing auction house Googut listed over 400 bottles of tiger bone wine from various Traditional Chinese Medicine manufacturers in a special liquor and health tonic auction entitled ‘Bouncing Dragon, Jumping Tiger’. Trade in tiger bone has been illegal in China since 1993.
“We commend the government for taking decisive action to prevent this illegal trade,” said Grace Ge Gabriel, Asia Regional Director of IFAW. “Any sale of tiger bone products is in blatant violation of both international and domestic trade bans. It can only stimulate the demand for tiger products and the poaching of wild tigers.”
Tigers are a critically endangered species, with as few as 3,000 remaining in the wild.
Monitoring of wildlife markets both online and offline in China shows an increase in products from endangered species traded in auctions. The products, which are protected by CITES and under China’s Wildlife Protection Law, are often traded disguised as ‘antiques’ and ‘collectables’.
“The audacity of the auction and its high profile promotion demonstrate how out of control the market is,” added Gabriel. “We urge a thorough investigation of the auction market for wildlife contraband followed by strong law enforcement. The sponsors of the auction should be held legally responsible and the wildlife contraband should be confiscated to prevent it from entering further trade.”
“It is outrageous that the auction openly flaunts the law and damages China’s image in the world,” said renowned Chinese artist and environmentalist, Xikun Yuan, who attended the global tiger summit last year in St. Petersburg, Russia, where world leaders pledged to protect wild tigers. “The most important contribution China could make to tiger protection is to end tiger trade once and for all.”
About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.