Every country has poorly written laws with loopholes that allow industrious entrepreneurs to make money anyway possible, and exploiting wild animals is one way to make that money.
For instance, in May 2003, the San Diego Wild Animal Park in the U.S. came under intense criticism from animal welfare group, and in February 1999, the San Jose Mercury News published a series of articles by Linda Goldstein entitled “Zoo Animals to Go”.
Goldstein alleged that major U.S. zoos in the United States purposely overbreed some animals to produce babies that are popular with the public and bring in crowds. Older and less popular animals are quietly discarded and often end up at rundown roadside zoos and exotic animal auctions.
In addition, unwanted but healthy animals were euthanized at the Detroit Zoo during the 1990s, and a handful of dealers preferred by the major zoos have become wealthy from the sales of unwanted exotics given or sold to them by the zoos, Goldstein claimed. – Entertainment Animals – Zoos
In China, animal welfare activists allege that a wildlife park in southeast China has been farming tigers. The Guilin tiger park then claims it is a research establishment devoted to the welfare and survival of the big cat.
Al Jazeera’s Tony Birtley reported from Guilin that the tigers are declawed and defanged and threatened with sticks to perform tricks for audiences.
However, Chinese animal welfare activists claim that this is nothing more than a farm producing tigers for their valuable body parts. To support that claim, in January 2015, Yale’s environment360 reported, “The number of tigers living in the wild has dropped to the shockingly low figure of 3,200, down from 100,000 a century ago. But nearly as shocking is this statistic: An estimated 5,000 to 6,000 tigers are being farmed today in China, their bones steeped in alcohol to make tiger bone wine, their meat sold, and their skins turned into rugs for members of China’s wealthy elite.”
Hua Ning of International Fund for Animal Welfare says people hear about these farms and think that the tigers will not perish. She says the truth is this park has about 1,500 tigers and many are abused.
Al Jazeera’s Birtley says that killing tigers in China is illegal and offenders face stiff jail terms, but allowing tigers to die from starvation and neglect is not technically killing. That is the loophole in China’s law that critics say is being exploited at one wildlife park in Guilin.
The reality is that tigers are worth more dead than alive.
There are only a few hundred tigers at this park on display for visitors. Birtley was told the rest were used for research in a large section of the park closed to the public.
One product this park sells is wine made from tiger bones. One bottle may sell for $250 dollars.
Traditional Chinese medicine uses all parts of the tiger, but the bones are the most valuable part of the animal. It is believed these bones prolong life, cure rheumatism, arthritis and solve sexual problems.
Twenty-five kilos (55.1 pounds) of tiger bones will make enough wine to earn $300 thousand dollars.
Meanwhile, Animal News reports that China’s government has urged zoos to stop serving wild animal products and holding wildlife performances in an attempt to improve the treatment of tigers, bears and other animals amid concerns over widespread abuse in zoos and wildlife parks.
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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