New Delhi: Trade in parts of tiger and other wild cats, which is prohibited internationally, has grown significantly in China and most of the items are sourced from India and the "gateway" Myanmar, according to a study.
"...In Mong La, at the China border (with Myanmar), shops (selling wild cat parts) more than trebled from six in 2006, to 21 in 2014. Mong La caters almost entirely to customers from China," says the report published in TRAFFIC, a well-known NGO which monitors illegal wild life trade.
However, "In Tachilek on the Myanmar-Thailand border, (number of) shops selling wild cat parts including Tiger and Leopard skins and skulls, fell from 35 in 2000, to just six in 2013," it said.
"Traders in both towns claimed that Tiger and Leopard products were mainly sourced from Myanmar and India," says the study 'Trade in tigers and other wild cats in Mong La and Tachilek, Myanmar a tale of two border towns.'
The two markets are situated on international borders and serve as sources for illegal cross-border trade.
Tiger is an endangered species and all wild cat species are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and by national laws.
The cat parts which are in demand include claws, skulls, canine teeth and skin. In total, over 2000 wild cat parts, the majority of them skin, were "recorded" during the survey, it says.
The study was conducted by Chris R Shepherd, regional director for TRAFFIC in Southeast Asia, and Vincent Nijman, Professor of Anthropology at Oxford Brookes University.