Special Correspondent

Indian tigers' parts find their way to China through Tibet

NEW DELHI: China has banned the use of tiger parts in traditional medicine and made display or wearing of tiger parts an offence. Talking to reporters here on Tuesday, Union Environment and Forests Secretary Prodipto Ghosh said the Ministry had requested the Chinese Government to ban the use of animal parts in its medicines as it would discourage illegal smuggling to that country through Tibet.China has also made certain offences in this connection punishable with death penalty. The use of tiger parts in pharmaceutical drugs in China is already banned.

Importantly, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has also issued an appeal to his followers in Tibet not to indulge in the killing of tigers. Indian tigers' parts find their way to China through Tibet, where it is widely used for making traditional medicines and costumes. Mr. Ghosh said Tibet was also employing priests in its campaign for creating awareness about the crime against wildlife.

In India, a survey conducted on the status and changes of tigers in the 28 Tiger Reserves showed that Sariska (Rajasthan) and Indravati (Chhattisgarh) had a decline in forest cover as well as the number of big cats while the number had increased in three reserves and the status in the remaining was described as satisfactory.

"The report neither tells us that everything is hunky-dory nor does it say that the system has collapsed," Mr. Ghosh said. The survey was sent to the World Conservation Union (IUCN) for review. The comments of the IUCN experts have been included in the report.