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July 22, 2007

Trading in Tiger Skins

This is a bloody sensible idea:

ZOOS are killing healthy tigers and other endangered species and selling their skins to be stuffed and mounted as trophies for private collectors, an investigation has found.

The skins are sold by the zoos to taxidermists who prepare them for clients in defiance of attempts by the government to stifle the trade in tiger products.

Last week undercover reporters from The Sunday Times were offered the skins from two zoo tigers, which were both only a few years old when they died, for £6,000. “There are too many of them and if they are not put down they will die of old age, get incinerated and thrown away,” Andre Brandwood, a Hertford-shire taxidermist, told them.

A pity there's going to be the usually bansturbator's cries that this should be outlawed. Supplying the demand from animals specifically bred lightens the pressure on wild animals, that's one part of it. Secondly, creating a value for the captive animals will increase the willingness to supply such animals. Thus there will be an increase in the total number of animals, even as the world population shrinks (there are already vastly more tigers in captivity than there are in the wild, as an example).

But no, there will be those who call for it all to be banned:

Craig Redmond of the Captive Animals’ Protection Society said zoos were overbreeding and creating a massive surplus of animals.

We're worried about tigers becoming extinct, aren't we? So overbreeding and a massive surplus of animals is actually what we want, no?


July 22, 2007 in Trade | Permalink


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"..overbreeding and a massive surplus of animals is actually what we want.."

Overbreeding but not interbreeding (the various subspecies have been intermingled in some zoos, thankfully this is now frowned upon, if zoos with to keep their conservation status).

And certainly, since there is no realistic prospect (in most cases) of large scale reintroduction (due to dwindling habitats), a massive surplus is definitely not recommended....

Posted by: JuliaM | Jul 22, 2007 6:13:55 PM