Friday, March 19, 2010

Tiger body parts sold in S'pore

I read with disappointment that body parts of tiger, an endanger and protected species are sold in local jewelery and and antique shops. I used to think that only medical shops are involved in sales of tiger parts for 'medicinal' purposes. In the past, tiger parts were sold openly, but now some of these medical shops sell them discreetly to their customers.

It sadden me to find out that folks think nothing of sacrificing tigers just for their vanity and collector mindset for antique. I suppose the tiger being majestic and beautiful only put it at a disadvantage as it is the target of collectors. The worst part is many people believe that tiger parts serve as lucky charm and could shield off evil. So we have these poor tigers killed for their body parts due to superstition.

It is a irony that an animal welfare group, ACRES discovered this infringement of the law, as S'pore is a signatory of CITES, besides having an Act to protected endanger species.

Our local authority, AVA which is the CITES authority and administers the Endangered Species Act seems to be in the 'blur'. But this is expected as they have never been much active in animal welfare nor protection. Thus, we now have a situation where 59 out of 134 jewelery / antique shops investigated by ACRES sold tiger parts. It is disappointing to know the prevalent of such illegal activities.

First AVA allows Resort World to import in dolphins captured in the wild for their Marine park, and now we hear tiger parts are on sale all over S'pore. In the past, they allow Sentosa to import in the 2 pink dolphins which are highly endangered species.

During the SARS period they go around culling cats, helping to fuel rumours that cats spread the virus. They perpetuate the misconception that civet cat is a cat and carry the SARS virus - both of which are untrue. Civet cat is also an endangered and protected species, but 'thanks' to AVA, they are treated like pest by the public instead of accorded its protected 'status'.

AVA lack lustre track records speak for itself. Sigh !

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