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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

China under pressure to continue ban on tiger trade

January 31, 2008

The Statesman
30 January 2008

The Financial Times Limited. Asia Africa Intelligence Wire. All material
subject to copyright. The Statesman (India) (c) 2008 All rights reserved

Press Trust of India Beijing, Jan. 28: Animal conservationists have
stepped up their campaign with renewed calls to the Chinese government
to continue with its 15-year-old moratorium on the trade in tiger parts,
warning that lifting of the ban would be "disastrous" for the big cats.

In their latest effort, the "Save the Tiger Fund" conducted a poll, with
findings that 95 per cent across the country supported the tiger-trade
ban, imposed in 1993.

Tiger bone is used in traditional Chinese medicine and wine made from
its blood is believed to give potency while its skin is highly valued in
Tibet, making the trade in tiger products a big money spinner for
poachers in China, India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Ever since China banned harvesting of tiger bones in 1993,
conservationists and tiger-trade lobby have locked horns over the issue.

The pro-tiger trade insists parts of the dead captive- bred tigers
should be used citing its medicinal use but conservationists want the
government to halt captive breeding itself.

In the poll, 95 per cent backed the ban, while more than 77 per cent
said the ban was important for China's image.

Almost 95 per cent said they would abstain from the use of tiger
products to save the big cats, Xinhua news agency said.

"The results... present the strikingly clear message that most Chinese
people care so much about wild tigers that they are willing to change
behaviour that threaten the survival of tigers in the wild," Judy Mills
of the organisation was quoted as saying.
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