China businessman jailed for 13 years for buying and eating three tigers

Actually, he likely had killed and ate 3 of the 6000 captive bread tigers that are held on China's notorious Tiger Farms.

There is a huge Tiger breeding program in China. While the Tigers are only supposed to be bread to save the species, in reality these are Tiger Farms that unofficially deal in Tiger products. China wants to these farms to be allowed to officially trade in Tiger parts, they think it would alleviate pressure on Wild Tiger.

This view is ardently opposed by environmentalists e.g. Kirkpatrick & Emerton (2010) said Tiger Farming would not drive down Tiger product prices and it would not decrease illegal trade. However, economic modelling by Abbott & van Kooten (2011) indicates that Tiger farms could protect wild Tigers.

They found that current Chinese legal enforcement on Wild Tiger trade cannot save the species, unless China attains as low a level of corruption as world's least corrupt countries. Instead, their modeling suggest that Tiger Farms and legal enforcement on the Wild Tiger trade could alleviate pressure on Wild Tiger, once a licensing program is enacted to ensure that Wild Tigers are not laundered into the Tiger Farming program and their habitats are protected.

Our model indicates that wild tigers can be protected by permitting sale of products from tiger farms, although this likely requires the granting of an exclusive license to sellers. Finally, it is possible to tradeoff enforcement effort and sale of products from captive-bred animals, but such tradeoffs are worsened by deteriorating tiger habitat.

There are only 50 wild Tigers left in China. Given the species is in such dire straights, the distasteful prospect of Tiger Farming may have to be considered.


Abbott, B., & van Kooten, G. C. (2011). Can domestication of wildlife lead to conservation? The economics of tiger farming in China. Ecological Economics, 70(4), 721–728. doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2010.11.006

Kirkpatrick, R. C., & Emerton, L. (2010). Killing Tigers to Save Them: Fallacies of the Farming Argument. Conservation Biology, 24(3), 655–659. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2010.01468.x

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