See Tiger Trade Out in the Open
Watch excerpts from the Current TV documentary series “Vanguard” which is currently broadcasting an episode on tiger trade, including trade in wild-caught tigers and a look at tiger farming. You may have already seen this on TV.
The documentary comes about from an investigation by the Vanguard team, who employed both open and covert techniques. During this, they visited markets in Mong La in Burma/Myanmar and visited tiger farms in PR China, to examine several different issues relating to the tiger trade.
In Mong La, just over the border with China, they found skins openly for sale at the very first shop they visited. The film shows that the traders were aware of the illegal status of the trade, but nevertheless promise to deliver the skins anywhere, given a bigger payment. In another shop the investigators are taken into the back room of a shop. They’re shown a tiger carcass, which is said to be a freshly-killed tiger. The skin is gone – already sold – and the bones have buyers waiting. The trader offers tiger meat to the journalist. They say their customers are “always” Chinese.
In China the documentary examines the issue of tiger farms, including the connections with the illegal trade in tiger parts and derivatives.
Overall, one interesting thing that comes out is that buyers of tiger parts and derivates are considered “discerning”. A distinction is made in terms of wild tiger being “superior” to farmed.
This investigation was independent from EIA’s work, but I thought I’d forward it for your interest in advance of Standing Committee. Feel free to circulate these links.
Here’s the trailer for the episode, and synopsis: http://current.com/shows/
Below the trailer, you’ll see a list of links to various scenes from the show which you can also watch.
Here’s the supporting blog by investigative journalist Adam Yamaguchi (also reproduced below this email) which gives an overview of their findings http://current.com/shows/
The documentary gives information about demand, prices, customer profiles and sources for wild and farmed tiger parts and derivatives. It was filmed in 2011.
Please note, this message has been sent to members of the SSN Big Cat WG separately to avoid duplication. Non-ITC and non-SSN NGOs are among recipients of this message.