HARBIN, March 14 (Xinhua) — The world’s largest breeding center for Siberian tigers in northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province plans to increase its population by 100 Siberian tiger cubs this year, sources with the center said on Friday …
The country has been trying to save the species through active breeding programs. The Heilongjiang center has bred more than 1,000 Siberian tigers since its establishment in 1986, when it had just eight of the large cats.
EIA Wildlife Campaigner Shruti Suresh responds: “Tiger farms and smaller facilities in China hold more than 5,000-6,000 tigers and counting in captivity, along with an extensive ‘stockpile’ of tiger carcasses, skins and bones.
“The announcement made by one of China’s largest tiger farms is not only a flagrant violation of international law and policy, but is wholly unscientific and ludicrous.
“Under CITES, China is required to ensure that tigers are not bred on a commercial scale and that action is taken by tiger farms in China (such as through segregation of sexes) so that the existing massive captive tiger population in China does not grow any further.
“Further, it is obvious that the centre/tiger farm in questions does not understand the scientific meaning of conservation breeding.
“There is no doubt that these tigers are NOT bred for conservation purposes. Indeed, EIA investigations have found that captive tigers in China are bred and kept for commercial reasons – specifically for the lucrative trade in their skins and bones.”