Agreement aimed to protect tigers made in Thailand

Feb. 15, 2012 at 5:51 PM
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BANGKOK, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Law enforcement leaders from countries with populations of wild tigers, meeting in Thailand, say they'll work together to combat illegal trade in the big cats.

At a two-day meeting in Bangkok, chiefs of police and customs organizations from 13 nations agreed to tighten controls and improve cross-border cooperation to combat smuggling of tiger parts, seen as one of the main threats facing the endangered big cats.

The seminar was organized by Interpol and hosted by the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime, the BBC reported.

Attending were 26 senior crime officials and representatives from partner organizations, including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

"[Our efforts to fight tiger crime] must not just result in seizures -- they must result in prosecutions, convictions and strong penalties to stop the flow of contraband," convention Secretary-General John Scanlon said.

"If we get the enforcement system right for the tiger, we will help save countless other species together with their ecosystems."

Wildlife experts said in the past century tiger numbers in the wild have dropped from about 100,000 to about 4,000 today.

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