Monday, October 02, 2006

one more reason to not do business with china -- tiger skins as interior decoration

oct 2nd, 2006

thanks to ag

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Is'nt this our national animal (whatever that means)?
Seems chinese GOVERNMENT officials are the latest "big buyer"

Of course, they're the best people to make our ports and roads!


Now, tiger skins going to Chinese homes: Report
Ravleen Kaur
Posted online: Thursday, September 28, 2006 at 0000 hrs Print Email

NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 27: Latest investigations conducted by Wildlife
Protection Society of India (WPSI), an Indian NGO, and the
international Environment Investigative Agency (EIA) shows there has
been no decline in the tiger skin trade in the Tibet Autonomous
Region. The shocking revelation this time is that the precious skins
are now being used even for interior decoration in China and Tibet.

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The cross-border trade in tiger skins continues to flourish though
both India and China are signatories to the UN Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and are supposed to
have specialised enforcement units.

In Lhasa, the undercover investigators were offered 11 tiger skins and
eight leopard skins in July and August. "Till last year, there were
more Tibetans buying skins for decoration of traditional costumes,
called Chupas. This year, however, the buyers are mainly Chinese,
wealthy businessmen and government officials, if the traders are to
believed," says EIA campaigner Nick Mole. He adds that while the use
of tiger skins in costumes has come down because of the increased
awareness, the new customers are using them for interior decoration
and gifts.

According to the agencies, the animal skins are now trafficked in
small consignments across mountain passes and official border
crossings through a chain of couriers. "Some even suggested concealing
them in passenger luggage, including sleeping bags," says Skinning the
Cat: Crime and Politics of the Big Cat Skin Trade, a report released
by the agencies. "The traders only told us that they have sourced the
skins from India. They even had phone numbers of traders in India. The
fold, tanning and the way of killing was identified as Indian by our
WPSI expert," says Mole.

"Despite promises by the Indian and Chinese governments, no effective
action has been taken to crack down on the hardcore criminals behind
the skin trade...," says Belinda Wright, executive director of WPSI.

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