Currently, it is estimated by The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) that at least one tiger is killed for use in traditional Chinese medicine every day. The main countries that are involved in the illegal trade of tiger parts are The United States of America, Great Britain, China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. Japan has the biggest market currently and, although the technical laws forbid such trade, there are loopholes for items that contain traces of tiger products (such as powders and pills, for example).
In China, Hong Kong is the main importer. In fact, this hub alone accounts for more than half of the countrys total turnover per annum.
Today, one kilogram (or 2.2. pounds) of tiger bone sells for up to $400, while a pair of eyes can be bought for around $200. A pound of powdered humerus bone (which does not even equal half a kilogram) is an astonishing $1 500 in Seoul. There are shops in England that sell products (mainly medicinal) containing tiger parts. This shows that the trade is not limited to Asia, but is becoming a global problem.
The number of tigers being killed on a regular basis to fulfil the demand for tiger parts cannot be accounted for accurately, since it is illegal and, therefore, done under the radar of the authorities.
Trade in tiger parts poses a massive threat to the tiger population of the world. In only a few years, it is believed that every last tiger will have disappeared, largely as a result of illegal hunting on the part of mankind. The laws that are in place are not completely effective in crushing the demand for such parts or for dissuading hunters from killing these magnificent predators.
If you would like to play an active role in the preservation of the worlds tigers, see:
Or write a polite letter to the Chinese Ambassador and email it to the relevant email address for your country (found on www.travelchinaguide.com/embassy).