The Cabinet is poised to approve today a revision of the Law for the Conservation of Endangered Species to ban trade in tiger parts.
Under pressure from domestic and international nongovernmental organizations over the large amount of tiger-
derived products in Japan, the government inked a revision that will make the handling and sale of tiger parts illegal.
The World Wide Fund for Nature’s TRAFFIC East Asia-Japan hailed the step as progress, but said it had taken too long. Likewise, the Japan Wildlife Conservation Society knocked the government for waiting 2 1/2 years after the Washington Convention, also known as CITES, passed a resolution urging signatory nations to strengthen domestic laws on tiger-derived products.
JWCS also questioned the ability of the government to stop the sale and distribution of tiger goods.
The revision prohibits the sale and handling of tiger fur, skins, claws, organs and male sexual organs as well as products listing tiger parts as ingredients.
However, tigers can be obtained for scientific purposes if permission is granted by the Environment Agency director general. Furthermore, existing stocks of tiger parts that were approved and registered by the government in the past may be handled.
There are believed to be 5,000 tigers alive in the wild. They are threatened by extinction because poachers kill them for their organs and other parts to manufacture traditional remedies popular because of the belief they will enhance virility and vitality.
The revision will take effect in April.
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