Demand fuels animal abuse. As long as tourists want to watch tigers jump through hoops of fire, and to take selfies – the abuse is unlikely to stop unless animal welfare laws change first.
Laos intends to shut down Tiger Farms and Bear Bile Farms
The head of the Laos Democratic Republic of Laos delegation at the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) conference in Johannesburg in South Africa has expressed the intention to close down all tiger farms and bear bile farms in their country. This statement came out after the CITES secretariat and UN agencies had visited Laos several times to investigate allegation of rampant illegal trade in endangered species within and through Laos. The CITES secretariat has pushed for legislative reforms within Laos and an upgrade of enforcement by authorities to suppress the illegal wildlife trade, both local and cross-border. Laos has recently implemented new legislation, however the enforcement of these laws is still lacking in many areas of the country due to lack of financial support, logistics and corruption.
Our founder and secretary-general Edwin Wiek, is traveling to Laos today to further discuss and plan closure of one of Laos’ most horrific bear bile farms near Vientiane city. The Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) who operate the first Laos Wildlife Rescue Centre (LWRC) 60 kilometres North of the capital Vientiane has been asked to support this closure by taking in the bears from this bile farm and provide appropriate life long care at the wildlife rescue centre. We at WFFT are very happy to help out, but are facing financial restrictions, for now. A serious fund-raising campaign will need to take place to raise over 200,000 dollars needed to build new facilities for over 40 bears currently kept at the farm. We are also looking at partnering with other (international) NGO’s to make this happen.
For more info on the farming, illegal trade and animal cruelty in Laos follow this link by our good friend Karl Amman http://www.karlammann.com/pdf/swara-rhino-piece.pdf and this report by our partners at EIA who we work with https://eia-international.org/wp-content/uploads/EIA-Sin-City-FINAL-med-res.pdf
Images – Karl Ammann and Esdaw