Letter to CITES Standing Committee

Open Letter to Participants in the 58th Meeting of the CITES Standing Committee

June 24, 2009

From the 40 Member Organizations of the International Tiger Coalition

Re: Response to Notification to the Parties Number 2008/059 on Tiger Breeding Operations
In 2007, the CITES Parties agreed by consensus that “Parties with intensive operations breeding
tigers on a commercial scale shall implement measures to restrict the captive population to a level
supportive only to conserving wild tigers; tigers should not be bred for trade in their parts and
derivatives.” (Decision 14.69)

In 2008, the CITES Standing Committee decided to ask relevant Parties to report on implementation
of Decision 14.69. To this end, the Standing Committee established a working group to assist the
CITES Secretariat in developing language for a Notification to the Parties requesting reports, with
specific content, from relevant Parties.

Notification number 2008/059, issued on October 8, 2008, asked relevant Parties to report on their
implementation of Decision 14.69, specifically:

a) the establishment of a national individual animal registration process incorporating a
marking system;
b) the segregation of sexes to prevent further breeding;
c) the development of a strategic plan for the phasing-out of intensive breeding operations on a
commercial scale or their conversion to operations devoted solely to the conservation of
tigers; and,
d) the development of a policy with regard to what will happen to tigers currently in intensive
breeding operations.

The undersigned 40 members of the International Tiger Coalition (ITC) are concerned that no
country to which this Notification applies has responded meaningfully, i.e. with the information
requested by the Standing Committee.

The only Party to respond at all was China. The ITC welcomes the fact that China responded.
However, Chinese authorities did not report specifically on their implementation of Decision 14.69
and did not address the four aforementioned issues specified in the Notification. Furthermore, the
ITC is disappointed that other relevant Parties did not respond to the Notification in any form.

The ITC urges the Standing Committee to mandate the CITES Secretariat to take all appropriate
measures to verify progress by relevant Parties to implement Decision 14.69, and to take
appropriate steps if reports are not forthcoming within 90 days of the 58th Standing Committee
meeting (SC58). Measures should include sending a delegation to relevant countries to assess their
actions to implement the Decision and reporting to the next Standing Committee meeting, directly
before the next meeting of the Conference of the Parties. The ITC also calls for donors to support
such missions.

CITES Parties have endorsed the view that tiger farming for commercial purposes is a threat to the
survival of wild tigers and needs to be stopped. We urge the Standing Committee, the CITES
Secretariat and all relevant Parties to ensure full implementation of Decision 14.69 and full
reporting on progress towards doing so as requested under the Notification. The CITES Parties
were unanimous at CoP14 in their concerns for the future of wild tigers. That future requires a
serious and timely response to this critical issue.

We thank you for your consideration,

International Tiger Coalition

American‚Ä© College ‚Ä©of‚Ä© Traditional‚Ä© Chinese‚Ä© Medicine‚Ä©‚Ä©
Animal‚Ä© Welfare ‚Ä©Institute‚Ä©‚Ä©
Wildlife‚Ä© Trust ‚Ä©of ‚Ä©India‚Ä©
Animals‚Ä© Asia ‚Ä©Foundation‚Ä©‚Ä©‚Ä©
‚Ä©Association ‚Ä©of ‚Ä©Zoos ‚Ä©&‚Ä© Aquariums‚Ä©‚Ä©
Big ‚Ä©Cat‚Ä© Rescue‚Ä©‚Ä© ‚Ä©
‚Ä©Born‚Ä© Free‚Ä© Foundation‚Ä©‚Ä© ‚Ä©
‚Ä©Born‚Ä© Free ‚Ä©USA‚Ä©‚Ä© ‚Ä©
‚Ä©British‚Ä© and ‚Ä©Irish ‚Ä©Association ‚Ä©of ‚Ä©Zoos ‚Ä©& ‚Ä©Aquariums‚Ä©
Care for the Wild International
Conservation ‚Ä©International‚Ä©
Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
David‚Ä© Shepherd‚Ä© Wildlife ‚Ä©Foundation‚Ä©
Education for Nature – Vietnam
Environmental ‚Ä©Investigation‚Ä© Agency‚Ä©‚Ä©
Global Tiger Patrol
Humane‚Ä© Society ‚Ä©International‚Ä©‚Ä©
Humane‚Ä© Society ‚Ä©of ‚Ä©the‚Ä© United‚Ä©States‚Ä©
International Fund for Animal Welfare
Phoenix Fund
Pro Fauna ‚Ä©Indonesia‚Ä©
Save The Tiger Fund
Species ‚Ä©Survival‚Ä© Network‚Ä©
The Tigris‚Ä© Foundation‚Ä©‚Ä©
Tour Operators for Tigers
‚Ä©21st‚Ä© Century‚Ä© Tiger‚Ä©
Wild Cat Conservation Legal Aid Society
Wildlife Conservation Nepal
Wildlife Conservation Society
Wildlife Trust of India
Wildlife Watch Group
World Association of Zoos @ Axquariums
World Society for the Protection of Animals
World Wildlife Fund
Zoological Society of London

For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457


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