China needs to lift the ban on the sale of tiger parts if it wants to stop poaching and prevent extinction, a New Zealand tiger expert says. At the risk of horrifying conservationists, Dr Brendan Moyle, senior lecturer at Massey University, believes the Chinese Government should allow tiger farms to trade tiger parts, so poachers are unable to sell them on the black market, helping to prevent extinction." Make poaching unprofitable. We have created a monopoly for these guys and people are dreaming if they think it is going to stop. We are making them rich and it is not helping the tigers. I can't see any other way around this."Makes perfect sense to me. Recognising property rights in animals is the best method of ensuring long-term protection for species that people value-after all, we don't see extinct breeds of dairy cows. The alternative has been to set our values against the law, with mostly dire results for law and for the animals supposedly protected.
In the recent Massey News, Moyle extends the argument, and briefly puts his credentials:
As a consultant to the Chinese, Dr Moyle points out his mixed background in both wildlife management and economics, makes him, the ‘tiger expert’, a rare breed himself. Whatever the views of other conservationists, he says there are three key things needed to destroy poaching – legal trade, credible law enforcement and a good monitoring system.All three things that are missing in most areas in which poaching is endemic.
* * *See also:
- Resolving the Tragedy of the Commons by Creating Private Property Rights in Wildlife.
- Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright.
- Not PC's Conservation archive.
Some comments perhaps. The breeding rate in farms is (potentially) 2 litters per year of an average size of 4 cubs. There is also tons of bone stockpiled in freezers and TCM hospitals.
The problem is not the farms but the ban. The ban isn't helping. The ban effectively means that every wild tiger in Asia has a bounty of $US50k on its head. We're literally paying Asian criminal networks to kill tigers. That's the default NGO position...
For that reason we have had a catastrophic decline in tigers in the wild. Farms may not be the ideal situation, but I think it is time to go after the poachers with 'all guns blazing.' I'd like to demolish their profits--and that means dumping tons of high quality product into the market.