The number of tigers in tiger farms has escalated rapidly in recent years, with 7,000-8,000 tigers reportedly held in a large number of facilities throughout East and Southeast Asia—most notably in China, Thailand, Lao PDR, and Vietnam. This captive population is much higher than the globally estimated 3,900 tigers remaining in the wild. WWF believes the current scale of captive breeding operations within tiger farms is a significant obstacle to the protection and recovery of wild tiger populations, as they undermine and complicate enforcement efforts and help to perpetuate demand for tiger parts and products.
WWF is calling on governments to commit to phasing out tiger farms and instituting clear bans on trade in tigers and their parts and products, from any source. While the situation with US captive tigers is different than that in Asia, it is critical that the US, a consistent leader in wildlife conservation, clean up our own backyard to ensure our tigers don’t contribute to illegal trade and to ensure the US can continue to be an effective and influential voice in tiger conservation.