The Terrible Truth About Tiger Farms

Tiger Farming

Tigers and their derivatives have long held an important place in Asian culture. They not only play their part in astrology (2010 is the year of the tiger after all) but also figured highly within traditional medicine.

In the wild the tiger is under threat throughout its range and especially so in China. It is reckoned that the Chinese population of the Siberian or Amur Tiger Panthera tigris altaica is as low as just 30 animals. The South China Tiger Panthera tigris amoyensis may already be extinct in the wild or, at best number less than half a dozen animals.

When anything becomes reduced in number the law of supply and demand takes over. This doesn't matter if it is diamonds, gold or tigers. When supply is low then the price goes up. With the drastic situation in the wild for tigers some eager Chinese entrepreneurs took the step of opening Tiger Farms. It did not take a genius to realise that breeding tigers could be a very lucrative market.

 

Photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinbell/35378445/
Photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinbell/35378445/

So the Tiger Farms opened up. Not only in China where they did not really need to hide what they were doing but also in Thailand where places like the Sri Racha Tiger Farm (exported 100 tigers to China in 2002) hid itself behind the name of Tiger Zoo. Even smaller establishments like the Tiger Temple were involved too but sneaking animals out the back door.

Although the conservation bodies were aware of the state of play, people in general were not and the Tiger Farms had free rein. Approach after approach was made to the Chinese government till, at last they agreed with some proposals and, in 1993, they issued a notice disallowing the use of Tiger product to be used in medicines. This ruling was supported by traditional medicine practitioners.

Photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/didbygraham/3506477487/
Photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/didbygraham/3506477487/

Sadly the breeding and trade in tigers has not been properly policed and is further complicated by animals being rented out to zoos to raise extra revenue. In many cases some of these zoos are no better than the farms themselves.

Seemingly laws do exist making killing a tiger a criminal offence and people have actually been executed for killing tigers in the wild. In captivity they avoid killing tigers by allowing them to starve to death instead. The bodies of the tigers are then dropped into huge vats of rice wine where they are allowed to 'brew' for years. The resulting liquor is the infamous 'Tiger Bone Wine'. Tiger Bone Wine is looked upon as a tonic. The zoos and the tiger farms are circumnavigating the rules by not actually killing or producing medicine. The way they see it...the tiger died and they are making tonic. One collection, the Shanghai Wildlife Park was using the bones of the tigers killed 'accidentally' by tourist buses driving through the park. It would be interesting to know just how many tigers have been killed by tourist buses in Safari Parks in Europe and America in the past forty years. If it is more than four I would be surprised.

The Tiger Farms and Commercial zoos are criminals. The situation is bad and is not looking any better but just what can be done?

China Tiger Park Flouts Loophole

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Comments 22 comments

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

When will mankind wake up. We are in the eleven hours. Don't they see that? Such blindness and greet drives you mad.


Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 6 years ago from South East Asia Author

Hello hello - it is a crazy world. Wherever there is man there is greed. Thanks for reading.


loriamoore 6 years ago

I had not heard of tiger farms before.


Silver Poet profile image

Silver Poet 6 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

How sad. I don't mind tigers being bred in captivity to prevent extinction, but what these people seem to be doing is wrong. So wrong.


Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 6 years ago from South East Asia Author

loriamoore - I was surprised you did not know of these places, but then we do live in different worlds. Much of hub pages is about learning new things. I know I do.


Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 6 years ago from South East Asia Author

Silver Poet - You are right. It is sad and wrong.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

I hate to see any animal exploited and held in captivity. They're simply not safe in really any habitat. Thank you for raising awareness Peter. If tigers could talk, I'm sure they'd say the same.


Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 6 years ago from South East Asia Author

Thanks Dohn - You are right. Our world is really not a safe place for Tigers...and much else too.


theherbivorehippi profile image

theherbivorehippi 6 years ago from Holly, MI

What is wrong with these people??? And..Tiger Bone Wine? Come on! I secretly hope that people become poisoned from it! What if animals ruled the world..I wonder if they would be making wine out of us or caging or torturing us? Probably not because they seem to have a bigger heart than most humans! Great informative hub as always and that picture of the tiger's face is gorgeous!


i scribble profile image

i scribble 6 years ago

I had never heard of tiger bone wine, but I have seen documentaries showing traditional medicines made from exotic animal parts. Thanks, once again, for raising our awareness.

I found a new source for my hub on talking elephants. Google Science mag or go to sciencemag.org. Type Kosik in the search box, or "Polly Pachyderm". The article describes how the elephant vocalizes in a way that is not "normal" for an elephant. Let me know if you are convinced, or still skeptical. Thanks,


oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 6 years ago from australia

Peter Dickinson. This is an absolutely wonderful hub, with all the information needed for us to try and do something about this disgusting Tiger farming situation. I have heard of Tiger balm, but have never used it. Had never heard of "tiger bone wine" and would never wish to try it. These are magnificent animals, why cant they just leave them be, It really makes me sick to the stomach. Thank you ever so much for sharing this hub with us. :) :)


Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 6 years ago from South East Asia Author

theherbivorehippi - Whereas I agree with you, it is terrible and cruel we really have realise that there is no overnight solution. We still have whaling from Norway, pilot whale slaughter in the Faroe islands, bull fighting in Spain etc and this from our own people. 'Culture' has a lot to answer for.


Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 6 years ago from South East Asia Author

i scribble - Thanks for commenting. I will take a look at the elephant page and get back. Very busy for next few days though.


Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 6 years ago from South East Asia Author

oliversmum - It is a very sad situation which I hope we can somehow solve soon.

Re the zoos in Australia. I nearly went a couple of times but each time was put off by the knowledge that I can live six months in Asia on what I could on one month in Australia. Cash is always short. Definitely on the agenda if some miracle should occur.


pranav k profile image

pranav k 5 years ago

thank you for the eye opening article peter.

That is a cruel act born out of mere superstitions.Tigers are just like any other animals.I doubt their body contains any extraordinary chemical which would be a powerful tonic. Why would not people go for herbal tonics instead? I am sure there are plenty in chinese medicine.


Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 5 years ago from South East Asia Author

pranav k - old habits, beliefs and superstitions take a long time to disappear.


Caleb DRC profile image

Caleb DRC 5 years ago

Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Peter. Good work.


Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 5 years ago from South East Asia Author

Thank you Caleb....more people need to be aware.


mrpudgy profile image

mrpudgy 5 years ago from Winnipeg, Manitoba

This is an interesting article. I have never heard of tiger farms but now I have. Thanks for posting this. It is cruel to do this to them no doubt. Makes you stop and think about things for a while. I could never imagine doing this to one of these beautiful animals. Letting it starve to death. Things need to be done about this treatment.


Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 5 years ago from South East Asia Author

Thank you mrpudgy.


Gynecomastia Mano profile image

Gynecomastia Mano 5 years ago from Pattukkottai

Wow i love that video absolutely fantastic.....peter we need to get more people attention.i appreciate you for this good work


Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 5 years ago from South East Asia Author

Gynecomastia Mano - Thank you for your comment.

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