Farming Tigers for Profit Best Way to Save Species

Strategy may dull beasts, but conservation ridiculous when it's at human expense
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2008 5:42 AM CDT
"If we are so intent on saving the tiger," Kirk Leech writes, "then I%u2019d propose farms for tigers and not prisons for indigenous people."   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Though animal conservationists hail the success of India's Jim Corbett National Park in increasing populations of endangered tigers, Kirk Leech complains in Spiked that numbers continue to decline—and that expanding protected areas for tigers harms indigenous human populations. His solution: for-profit tiger farms, where selling animal parts to meet unrelenting demand can finance more farms and better breeding to prevent extinction.

He points to China's 14 successful tiger farms. "We can romanticize the tiger if we wish, but we would be better off re-enchanting ourselves with our humanity," writes Leech. "As long as the poor live a hand-to-mouth existence based on subsistence agriculture, the priority should be to set aside land for people, not tigers."