What will CITES do about tiger farms?
Over the next fortnight, Johannesburg, South Africa, is hosting the 17th CITES Congress of Parties (#CoP17) – the world’s most important illegal wildlife trade (IWT) conference and the biggest event of its kind to date.
CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) launched in 1975 affords international, cross-boundary protection to over 35,000 species of animals and plants.
CITES CoP is one of the landmark dates in the global environmental calendar, bringing together ‘Parties’ from over 180 countries, including for the first time, the EU – alongside almost 300 other organisations, in an effort to combat the illegal wildlife trade and ensure the trade in wild animal and plants doesn’t threaten any of the species involved with extinction.
“So how does it work? CITES groups species on two main lists or appendices. Appendix I deals with species that already face a threat of extinction due to the pressures of the illegal wildlife trade, whilst Appendix II covers those that don’t currently face a direct threat but could do in the near future if present rates of illegal trade are allowed to continue. Much of the debate at CITES CoP events concerns the listings of species on these two categories, although increasingly a range of other issues around IWT such as law enforcement and anti-trafficking are also addressed through CITES.”
Prof. Jonathon Baillie, Conservation Programmes Director ZSL.
- Asian big cats: Strengthening efforts to reduce the impact of illegal trade on tigers and other Asian big cats
This motion will be debated and streamed live on Thursday 29 September on the CoP website.
China has vehemently defended its tiger farms; (see this Guardian report) insisting that CITES, and the rest of the world have ‘no business’ dictating their domestic trade in tigers. That if we in the West farm pigs and cattle, that they should be entitled to breed tigers in the same way.
Our stance remains unchanged. Farms only normalise the consumption of tiger parts. Alongside EIA and other NGOs we are calling for #ZEROdemand and #ZEROtrade.