Tiger part trader becomes TRAFFIC contributor
20 Feb 2009
Richmond, Canada – A Canadian company specializing in Chinese traditional medicines is to pay the bulk of a CAN45,000 (USD36,000) penalty for trading illegally in tiger parts to TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network that helped secure its conviction.
Wing Quon Enterprises Ltd., pleaded guilty to possessing and attempting to sell medicines containing parts from Tigers and other protected species in a Richmond Provincial Court earlier this week.
TRAFFIC, whose expertise helped secure the conviction, are to receive the bulk of this sum, some CAN40,000 (USD 32,000).
The company was also ordered to forfeit seized medicines and products made from other endangered species, including costus root, agarwood, bear, pangolin, musk deer and rhinoceros. All are listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which imposes strict controls on listed plants, wildlife and their derivatives.
In 2008, TRAFFIC warned of the dangers of Tiger parts entering illegal trade from neighbouring USA after an investigation found that flawed US legislation effectively meant there was no way of tracking captive-held Tigers in the country.
This case could be the first sign Canada is experiencing the outcome of slack US legislation over its captive Tiger population, warned Steven Broad, Director of TRAFFIC International.
“The new US administration should act swiftly to close the gaping legal loopholes it inherited,” said Broad.
TRAFFIC, which operates globally, was established as a partnership between WWF, the world’s leading conservation organization, and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, a global consortium of government, scientific and civil society organizations.