Statement: Laos phasing out tiger farms
The news that Laos is phasing out tiger farms is exactly what is needed and is a positive step towards protecting tigers from the illegal trade in their body parts.
While this is a positive step for Laos, tiger farming is still a big problem in countries like Vietnam and Thailand. Our study into the tiger entertainment industry in Thailand earlier this year shed a light on the cruel speed breeding practices. What we found was a rapidly expanding industry, with poor oversight. At least one venue at that time was under investigation for suspected involvement in illegal trafficking in tiger body parts.
We have also worked with Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), who in June seized 147 live tigers, thousands of tiger skin amulets, 70 preserved cubs and other tiger parts from the “Tiger Temple” in Kanchanaburi Province. The DNP announced then that it would investigate other captive tiger facilities implicated in tiger trade.
This announcement represents a significant opportunity for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to call for urgent measures for governments - in all countries, not just Laos - to phase out tiger farms.