Tiger killings contrast Russian government assurances and wild animals are still vulnerable

Though 2012 a man was convinced for killing Amur tigers (Russian link) and must pay a penalty in amount of $25,000 USD, it doesn’t frightened local people.

They continue poaching tigers as demand for tiger parts in extremely high in China. Several days ago a shipment of eight Amur tiger skins was confiscated.  This example shows all the problems with nature protection in Russia. 

It means that eight tigers recently were killed and nobody in Taiga has stopped the violence.  It happed as in 2008 the system of forest protection in Russia has been changed and it looks like the new one doesn’t work.

Despite the Russian government reporting that tiger protection is on high level and situation is under control.

The other concern for storing and transportation of tiger parts or other relisted species the pittance of a fine at $50 USD, which means that the man who prepared a shipment of eight tiger skins will get minimum of penalty.

This regulation has to be changed and the International Fund for Animal Welfare is lobbing for changes to this law.

--AF

The original story:

A largest shipment of Amur tiger skins was intercepted in Primorsky Krai

VLADIVOSTOK, August 24 – RIA Novosti, Maria Okulova. Policemen in cooperation with customs officers confiscated a large shipment of ginseng and wildlife derivatives which included eight skins of Red-listed Amur tiger, RIA Novosti was informed by Alexander Molchan, head of criminal investigation, Police Squad 12, Interdistrict Department of Ministry of Internal Affairs “Arsenyevsky”.

The Amur tiger is listed in IUCN Red List, in Russia these animals still exist only in Primorsky Krai and Khabarovsk Krai. According to the latest survey, population of this rare species is currently only 450 animals.

“Local criminal investigation squad received intelligence that one of the Arsenyevo residents buys up ginseng, tiger skins and bear gall, and stores the obtained goods at his residence. In addition to the above we were informed that he engages in storing arms and ammunition,” he stated.

According to Alexander Molchan, after obtaining the intelligence officers of Arsenyevo criminal investigation squad together with their colleagues from the Directorate for Combating Economic Crime, Regional Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Primorsky Krai along with investigators of the Far East Customs set out to check the indicated residence.

“At the location skins were found, eight tiger skins as well as skins of other wildlife: mink, otter, and fox. Also 1.5 kg of ginseng root was found, along with 97 bottles of vodka, where those roots were placed; 150 rounds of ammunition for various types of rifle barrel were confiscated”.

He also said that according to the owner of confiscated items he bought up the skins for reselling, presumably to China. Currently pre-investigation check is being performed, based on its result in 10 days time a decision about initiation of criminal case will be made.

He also pointed out the high importance of coordinated and prompt actions of the law-enforcement officers who confiscated the shipment in time.

He added that shortly the specialists will determine gender, age and specific habitat area of the killed animals. Currently on the basis of the difference in skin processing techniques allegedly the skins were bought by the resident of Arsenyevo in different areas of Primorsky Krai.

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Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Regional Director, Russia & CIS
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Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
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Peter Pueschel, Director, International Environmental Agreements
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Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
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