The Role of the Animal Welfare Principle and CITES in the Conservation of Tigers
Keywords:Tigers, the CITES, Principles of animal welfare
The purposes of this article are 1) to study the situation and the number of the tigers found in the nature, the threat to tigers’existence, and the significance of the tiger conservation; 2) to study the concept of animal protection as well as the role and legal measurement in relation to the animal welfare; 3) to study the origin and the relevance and the mechanism of the CITES as well as Thailand’s mission for tiger conservation according to the CITES’s framework; and 4) to analyze the hindrance to and challenges for the tiger conservation.
The findings of the study have shown that the number of nations which adhere to the CITES has increased by 186 nations. However, the global coverage of this convention cannot prevent the continuous decrease of the number of the tigers in the nature. Within 5 years, if the problem has not been more effectively addressed, the tiger will become extinct. The failure of the implementation of the convention is attributable to 5 factors, namely: 1) The CITES member nations’ law is not efficient; 2) the animal welfare protection cannot be enforced as an international law; 3) cross-border wildlife business involves a low risk but highly profitable activity; 4) the loophole of the CITES in terms of the control of tiger trade does not forbid a trade in tigers from tiger farming; and 5) the lack of good governance among concerned authorities.
The conclusion and the recommendation of this study are as follows:1) DNA registration and tiger identification has to be included in the regulation for both farmed tigers and tigers found in the nature; 2) the criteria for animal welfare have be included in the constitution of Thailand; 3) an increase in the harshness of penalty measures for offences involving wildlife trade and wildlife possession has to be implemented; 4) the sensitization of society to the significance of tigers has to provided; and 5) the CITES commission has to be stricter and more pro-active.