(ANSA – AFP) – JOHANNESBURG, Feb 01 – Four Paws, the world animal welfare organization, has appealed to South Africa to stop commercial breeding of big cats sold to zoos, for hunting or for their bones, in Asia for medical purposes. Commercial breeding of lions in the country is legal, but the breeding of tigers for similar purposes has also developed in recent years.
The Four Paws report revealed that 359 tigers – nearly a tenth of the world’s population of this species – were exported from South Africa between 2011 and 2020. About 255 of them were sold to zoos.
Tigers are not native to South Africa and therefore do not have legal protection, the association denounces, which warns of such legislative loopholes that make tiger breeding more profitable than lions. South Africa has no official tiger numbers, and Four Paws says tiger numbers are declining, in part due to trade with Asian countries.
The organization accuses the African country of violating international law that prohibits the breeding of tigers for trade in their parts. The South African government has said it will respond to Four Paws. (ANSA – Agence France-Presse).
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