Beasts of burden

By Gabrielle Pickard
0 CommentsPrint E-mail, December 8, 2009
Adjust font size:

Outrage has been ignited within animal rights campaigners and conversationalists following a recent investigation conducted by the British-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). The report exposed that the illegal trading of animal skins is still rife in China, with "officials" turning a blind eye.

In an effort to expose the severity of this barbaric trade and the sinister parliamentary "ignorance" that occurs, a team from the EIA spent a total of three weeks in China. During this time they were offered 12 leopard skins, 11 snow leopard skins, two clouded leopard skins, four full tiger skins, as well as "dozens of pieces of skin, bones and skulls." Furthermore, the EIA witnessed local authorities 'conveniently' failed to notice nine people wearing tiger skins and the 25 people wearing leopard skins at a horse show in Tibet.

Inconsistent laws implemented throughout different regions of China and a lack of commitment to counteract the crime, is not only being blamed for the scale of the trade in the country, but also for the severe drop in numbers of the animals.

Whilst this barbaric act is unquestionably contributing to the decline in wild felines, particularly tigers, in solely focusing on China, the investigation ignores the fact that the illegal trading of wild animals, dead and alive, is operating in many countries across the globe.

Last month, Spanish police uncovered an organization illegally supplying wild animals to buyers in Portugal and Spain. Amongst the animals confiscated from a warehouse in Ronda were "titi" monkeys, albino pythons, squirrel monkeys and common owls, and were said to have a total market value of almost 12,000 euros.

Rare monkeys were rescued in a police raid in Spain.

Whilst in Russia, where one tiger skin can reach $10,000 on the black market, the illegal hunting of such animals remains a lucrative industry. As a result threatened species in Russia are becoming dangerously sparse.

But even when focusing outside of China, where the barbaric industry is also frequently occurring, does not take into consideration the other less well documented but equally as sinister factors contributing to the decimation of these wild and beautiful beasts.

The issue of blame surrounding the demise of wild animals, particularly tigers, was made even more complex this year. Being "cruel to be kind" and keeping beasts caged so they are safe from poachers and predators is the essential argument of animal captivity supporters.

Killed for their coats. Cat skins can reach up to $21,000.

1   2   Next  

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comments

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from