The WFFT has been in talks with authorities since the publishing of the article written by our founder Edwin Wiek in the Nation Newspaper a few weeks ago. See the article here http://bit.ly/1Z5S4dA.
We are very happy to announce the outcome of these talks. A press release yesterday issued by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) announced that the temple will be facing closure due to continuous breaches of the law and past agreements. After the Tiger Temple was granted a zoo license they still continued to sabotage agreements that had been stipulated by the DNP and refused legal checks on the tigers and other wildlife held at the temple.
The surrender to authorities of 10 more tigers last week was again refused by the temple, against the agreement made between authorities and the temple when the zoo permit was issued. Besides the closure of the temple, there is also a very big chance that the zoo license will be revoked, as requested by WFFT and other Thai NGO’s, as we all believe illegal wildlife traders should not be issued a zoo license. Evidence of illegal trade by the temple has been handed over by the ex-lawyer and veterinarian of the temple, both have been repeatedly threatened by staff and supporters of the temple.
An article in the Thai language Nation newspaper published last night http://bit.ly/1TKwIRz explains that the DNP now finds that the temple has pushed authorities over the limit by threatening them with another lawsuit requesting payment of over 5 million US dollars for the “care” of the tigers for the last 12 years and the refusal to honor the agreement that at least 70 tigers would be surrendered to the authorities.
The WFFT fully supports the action of the DNP and authorities in this case and has been invited to join the authorities on Monday, sending a veterinary team to observe and assist if requested. The illegal trade in tigers and tiger-parts needs to be stopped. We are hopeful that this is the end of an establishment that has gone unpunished for far too long.