Tiger Farms

Ian Somerhalder Foundation

The tiger is the largest cat species, reaching a total body length of up to 11ft and weighing up to 670lb. Their most recognizable feature is a pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with lighter underparts. Although touted by China as “conservation”, the country’s notorious tiger farms are actually commercial enterprises engaging in the internationally banned business of selling products derived from tigers.(1)

Guilin Xiong Seng Tiger and Bear Farm

Posing as a Korean tourist, an American diplomat (referred to as “Econoff” in the cable) visited the Guilin Xiong Seng Tiger and Bear Farm in Guangxi Province. During the visit, Econoff observed the following:

  • Tigers being whipped and struck with a metal pole
  • Tigers and bear cubs forced to perform in a “mock Chinese marriage procession”
  • Tiger bone wine and powdered black bear bile for sale
  • Four large vats “allegedly” filled with tiger bone wine
     

The diplomat was told by locals that tiger skins could be purchased by ordering in advance and that tiger meat was served “until recently” to visitors; however, this was denied by farm staff. It was noted that in addition to more than 500 tigers, the “farm” was holding nearly 200 bears and a “small number of African lions.” The large number of endangered tigers and bears present with no current plans to reintroduce to them into the wild raises concern regarding the motivation of such a farm. Indeed, these commercial enterprises have done nothing except undermine legitimate efforts to conserve wild tigers by encouraging demand for tiger parts. Today, only about 3,200 tigers remain in the wild. (1)

With as few as 20 in the wild in China, the country’s tigers are very close to extinction.  With pelts selling for $20,000 and a single paw worth as much as $1,000, the value of a dead tiger is, unfortunately, very high.  “All of the demand for tiger parts is coming from China,” said Belinda Wright, executive director of the Wildlife Protection Society of India. “Unless the Chinese change their attitude, the tiger has no future on this earth.”  It is a gray area that has been exploited by Chinese tiger farms, which raise thousands of animals with assembly-line efficiency.(1)

Opened in 1993 with financing from the State Forestry Administration, Xiongsen is China’s largest tiger-breeding operation. Some of its 1,500 tigers roam in treeless, fenced-in areas, while many others are packed in small cages where they pace agitatedly. Those who pay the park’s $12 entry fee are treated to an extravaganza of tigers jumping through rings of fire or balancing on balls; if the crowds are large enough, workers will place a cow and a tiger in an enclosure with predictably gruesome results. A large sign in the building’s interior declares “Protecting Wild Animals is the Bounden Duty of Every Citizen.”  If the ban were lifted, critics say, trade in farm-bred tigers would simply provide cover for poached tigers, which are far cheaper to harvest and bring in far higher prices because most Chinese believe the healing properties of wild tigers are greater than those raised in cages.(1)

Once there were 100,000 or more wild tigers in Asia. Today there may be as few as 3,200. China banned the sale of tiger parts in 1993, but this did not stop the farmers. Instead, they just stored the frozen carcasses while breeding more tigers.(2)

To read more on the undercover job "Econoff" did at the tiger farm, please visit this website. But please note, before viewing, that the pictures and content are very upsetting.

Get the word out to help STOP tiger farms here: http://www.causes.com/causes/285298-help-stop-tiger-farms#

 

 

(1) http://featured.matternetwork.com/2011/8/wikileaks-instead-conserving-tigers-chinese.cfm

(2) http://www.care2.com/causes/tiger-farm-evils-video-2.html