Target: Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China Wen Jiabao
Goal: Enforce ban on tiger part trade to protect tigers from mistreatment and extinction
Although China banned the trade in tiger parts in 1993, it is still relatively easy to purchase products such as tiger wine, tiger claws, tiger tail soup, and pills made from the animals’ eyeballs, both at auctions and directly from producers. Tigers are either poached in Nepal or India or raised on a tiger farm in China where the abuses they suffer are endless. The tiger farms and parks that produce many of the tiger products are known for their gross mistreatment of their animals–tigers are whipped, forced to perform for the public, and purposely starved to death.
China is the largest market for tiger products, and tiger wine is a popular remedy of the middle class. It is believed that the wine will give the drinker the vitality and strength of the tiger, and a bottle will sell for around $230. Tiger skeletons are soaked in alcohol in order to make the wine–one skeleton will make about 30 bottles of wine. Other popular products include tiger skins, tiger claws, which are worn as amulets for courage and for good luck, tail soup–a cure for skin problems–and pills made from crushed eyeballs, which are believed to cure epilepsy.
The popularity of tiger parts has led Beijing to consider legalizing the trade in tiger parts–an action that would surely hasten the tiger’s path to extinction. China has done relatively little to enforce its 20-year-old ban on tiger parts, and smugglers and farmers alike frequently kill the rare animals for a large profit. If the Chinese authorities continue to neglect this problem, the market for tiger parts will continue to threaten the livelihood of these endangered animals. Urge the Chinese government to step up its policies and protect the few remaining members of this beautiful species.
Dear Premier Jiabao,
China made a monumental decision for animal rights when it banned the sale of tiger parts in 1993. This ban was a commendable piece of legislation, possessing the capacity to protect an entire species and make China an important player in today’s struggle for animal rights. However, this bill has hardly been enforced, and the trade in tiger parts is flourishing.
The legislation is already in place–now, to enforce it. China’s efforts on behalf of the tiger will not go unrecognized; countries the world over will model their behavior to live up to this new standard. It is China’s duty as one of the most powerful countries in the world to make a stand for the endangered tiger, and ensure that it survives for generations to come.
Enforcing the existing ban would have a lasting impact on animal rights, the environment, and the world. Please increase the measures being taken to protect the tigers, and ensure that future generations will still be able to see this incredible animal thriving in the wild.
[Your Name Here]
Photocredit: Tambako the Jarguar via Flickr