The commercial trade with captive tigers and their parts is legal and out of control. And it’s happening right on our doorstep, in Europe.
• Throughout the European Union, it is legal to trade captive tigers (to use them in circuses, as pets or for selfies)
• European countries don’t have an accurate overview of the captive tiger population
• The commercial tiger trade undermines international efforts to end illegal trade and poaching
Shockingly, tigers born in Europe in captivity can still be traded for commercial purposes like circuses, for private keeping or photo opportunities. In some European countries you can even rent a tiger for a private party.
There is no clear overview of the actual number of captive tigers and the trade of these animals. No authority, organisation or country knows how many tigers are currently kept in Europe. They don’t know what happens to them during their lifetime or when they die. ‘In some cases, these animals are being turned into tiger bone wine or traditional medicines' says Kieran Harkin, Head of Wild Animals in Trade at FOUR PAWS.
The world has already lost over 90 per cent of its tigers. The tiger is an endangered species. The dramatic decline is a result of a relentless demand for tigers traded for their parts but also to be used commercially. The legal trade with live tigers poses an easy cover for illegal trade, with tiger parts. This causes a real threat to the wild tiger population and encourages poaching.
‘Tigers from Europe are the best ones’ says L. Berousek, a big cat trader. Our investigators have discovered that tiger traders operating in Europe are willing and able to sell and facilitate the transfer of tigers to Asian countries where demand for their parts for traditional medicine is causing mass cruelty. European tigers are considered bigger and stronger.
We're calling on the European Commission to ban the commercial trade in captive tigers and their parts. Please support our campaign by signing our petition.