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India to oppose China's demand for lifting ban on tiger parts trade

June 11, 2007 15:59 IST

With poaching of tigers causing an alarming situation, India will press the international community to oppose China's demand for lifting of ban on trade in body parts of the big cats.

The issue would come up for discussion at the meeting of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) at the Hague on Tuesday when India will insist that the ban should continue to save the endangered species.

To strengthen its argument, India has teamed up with Nepal on the issue.

"We have teamed up with Nepal to save tigers from the dragons. We will jointly lobby against China's move at Cites when the issue comes up for discussion," a senior Indian government official at the Hague told PTI.

Cites, with 171 members is one of the world's most powerful body for bio-diversity conservation through the regulation in wild fauna and flora.

Confident of India's scoring over China in the debate, he said Nepal too face threat of poaching in case tiger trade is allowed.

He said papers have been presented at the Cites and argument will begin from Tuesday.

The official said the government's steps of forming the Wildlife Crime Bureau to curb poaching and conservation of wildlife, particularly tigers and amendments in the Wildlife Act 2006 would support its bid at Cites to save big cat.

Meanwhile, conservationists in Delhi are keeping their fingers crossed.

"That India has teamed up with Nepal for protection of wild tigers is a good news as both countries face a similar situation. Also, it would support India's stand at the Cites," Belinda Wright, one of the country's foremost tiger conservationists, said.

More than half of the total tigers in the world are estimated to be in India.

She said if the trade of the tiger parts is allowed in China, it would prove death knell for the wild cats in the world.

It is necessary that China limit its tiger farming, she added.

China has been favouring breeding tigers to preserve the species and felt that conserving tigers in their natural habitat was not effective.

Archana Jyoti in New Delhi
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