Chinese Man Gets 13 Years for Buying Poached Tiger Meat

Natalie Wang January 23, 2015 8:54pm (updated)

An animal poacher and a tiger paw.

The Chinese government finally appears to be cracking down on animal cruelty. The Qinzhou City Intermediate People’s Court has upheld a lower court decision fining a Chinese businessman RMB 1.55 million, and sentencing him to sentencing him to 13 years in prison for purchasing the meat of three tigers, bought from a Zhanjiang, Guangdong poaching ring.

A video documenting the 2012 killing of the wild tiger recently surfaced when an anonymous insider leaked it to a local Guangdong television station. According to video footage, an adult tiger was confined in a small steel cage, where it was electrocuted and inevitably slaughtered while a room full of buyers looked on, the Nanfang Economics TV reported.

A buyer filmed in the video said he paid RMB 26,000 for a paw and some tiger meat. Another buyer watching nearby even offered advice on how to clean the paw. According to an anonymous insider, the whole tiger had been sold to multiple buyers for more than RMB 200,000 within roughly an hour.

The report, however, did not identify where the tiger was trafficked from. A local forestry bureau said that, based on the anti-animal poaching cases found in the province, from 2007 and 2010 most of the tigers were likely transported to Guangdong from Henan and Anhui Provinces.

In Chinese folk lore and traditional medicine, tiger’s body parts are believed to greatly boost the immune system. In particular, the tiger’s penis is believed to cure impotence and enhance male sexual performance. As a result, tiger trafficking is big business in China. A slaughtered tiger can fetch up to RMB 7,000 per kg, while the average price of tiger meat is around RMB 500 per kg.

Photos: Sound of Hope

Natalie Wang

Journalist based in Hong Kong.