Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has called for urgent action to end the killing of tigers and other big cats by halting trade in their parts and products.
At an event co-hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary China Group (APPCG) and the Indo-British All-Party Parliamentary Group, along with wildlife campaigners from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), Gwynne expressed serious concern over the existential crisis facing the world’s tigers and other big cats from killing to meet demand for body parts.
Fewer than 4,000 wild tigers survive and the species has already been hunted and traded to extinction across much of its natural range, particularly in South-East Asia and China. Asia’s leopards have disappeared from 85 per cent of their historic range, while seizures from illegal trade show a minimum of 5,203 Asian leopards have been killed for trade since 2000 – the true total is likely many times higher.
All big cat species are being killed to meet demand for body parts, which comes mostly from Chinese consumers, for use in products such as traditional medicines, luxury home décor and jewellery.
Gwynne signed a statement expressing concern about the illegal killing of wild tigers driven by demand for their parts and products and calls for action from governments worldwide to end the demand for these products to stop the killing.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“The trade in big cat products threatens the survival of wild tigers, leopards and other species and it must end.
“The loss of these species would be devastating for communities, cultures and ecosystems around the world.
“It’s important that all governments work together to tackle the big cat trade.”