Interpol urges global strategy to stem tiger trade

April 3, 2014
A six-month old Indian white tiger cub (R) plays with its mother at their enclosure in Hyderabad on March 29, 2014

Global police body Interpol on Thursday called for concerted international action to stem the highly lucrative tiger trade "if the species is to avoid extinction."

In a statement, the Lyon-based body called for the creation of a "cohesive global strategy" to fight increasingly well-organised gangs trafficking in tiger parts.

It called for the setting up of a network of to coordinate cross-border information exchanges on the trade.

"Intelligence gathering and information sharing... are essential if law enforcement is to fully play its role in preventing criminals from driving this iconic species to extinction," David Higgins, head of Interpol's environmental security unit, said in the statement.

Interpol said it would organise a four-day meeting with experts in Lyon in May to begin coordinating efforts.

Tiger parts are coveted in some parts of Asia as ingredients in traditional medicine.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates that the number of wild tigers has plunged from 100,000 in 1900 to around 3,200 today.

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