Trafficking of tigers continues relentlessly across Asia, with more than two of the animals illegally traded each week, according to data revealed at the world’s largest species protection conference on Friday.
At least 1,755 tigers were seized between 2000 and 2015, wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said at the 17th meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
The gathering has brought together about 2,500 delegates from more than 180 countries to the South African city of Johannesburg.
With an estimated 3,900 tigers left in the wild, experts believe at least 30 per cent of the trafficked animals come from captive breeding operations.
The largest number of seized tigers was reported by India, according to the report. Another key trafficking route stretches from Thailand via Laos to Vietnam, with the number of tiger farms rising in all three countries.
“Despite repeated government commitments to close down tiger farms in Asia, such facilities are flourishing and playing an increasing role in fuelling illegal trade,” said Traffic executive director Steven Broad.
The trade in tigers, tiger parts and products made from tigers is internationally banned.