Tigers are in danger of being traded to extinction. International trade of tigers and their parts is banned under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and all tiger range countries have national legislation protecting tigers from poaching and trade.
However, illegal trade of tigers and their parts continues as part of a vicious cycle: poaching supplies the black market, trading stimulates consumer demand which then fuels more poaching. To save the world's remaining wild tigers we must end this cycle.
We work with CITES, INTERPOL and other intergovernmental organizations to control international trade of tigers and their parts and products and promote effective law enforcement to stop tiger smuggling.
IFAW also works with tiger range and consumer countries to strengthen national laws and regulations to end any and all trade in tiger products from all sources, both from the wild and from tiger farms.
While fewer than 50 wild tigers remain in China, more than 6,000 tigers are held captive on a few huge commercial farms, where they are bred and then killed to make tiger-bone wine and other tonic products. Farming tigers for trade stimulates market demand for dead tigers and fuels poaching of wild tigers throughout Asia.
IFAW's investigation of tiger farming businesses in China exposed the danger of tiger farming to wild tigers at the CITES Conference of the Parties (CoP) in 2007. An overwhelming majority of the countries to CITES adopted a decision opposing any country from "farming tigers for the trade of their parts and derivatives".
Within China, which has been the largest market for tiger bones and body parts, we have partnered with the Traditional Chinese Medicine community, which now rejects the use of tiger parts and promotes the use of alternatives. IFAW are also undertaking innovative public awareness campaigns to reduce consumer demand for tiger body parts.