Conducted between March and April 2015, ACRES’s Animal Crime Investigation Unit found only 4 out of 153 (2.6%) jewellery and antique shops in Singapore offering alleged tiger teeth and claws for sale, compared to 59 out of 134 (44.0%) discovered in a similar investigation in 2010.
“It is positive that there is a significant decline in the trade in tiger parts in shops in Singapore,” said Mr Louis Ng, chief executive of ACRES. “We look forward to partnering the Agri-food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) and are confident of completely wiping out this illicit trade here.”
Details of the investigation and all the evidence collected have been forwarded to AVA. During the investigation, a total of 13 pieces of alleged tiger parts were offered for sale and prices ranged from S$70 to S$538.
Jewellery and antique shops were targeted in the 2010 and 2015 investigations, as tiger parts are sold by them to fuel a market that believes they bring the bearer good luck and safety from evil.
In ACRES’s investigation this year, more than half of the shopkeepers approached were aware that the sale of tiger parts was illegal or required permits, including the shops that did offer tiger products for sale.
ACRES believed that such investigations by animal welfare groups and enforcement by AVA have increased awareness among shop owners about the legalities of the trade and helped to deter sales in the past five years.
“But we cannot rest on our laurels as the trade in tiger parts has evolved online, and grows ominously by the day,” said ACRES in a media statement. “We must now move our efforts to urgently break the virtual trade of tiger parts, in order to protect the last of our remaining tigers.”
In a brief online survey conducted by ACRES on 28 April 2015, a total of 14 online advertisements were found offering tiger parts for sale in Singapore.
“The public also plays an important role, and we hope that people will stop buying tiger parts, and also help be our extra eyes and ears on the ground.”
Members of the public who spot anyone selling tiger parts can report them to ACRES at their hotline 97837782.