Conservation groups have renewed calls for China to extend a 15-year moratorium on the trade in tiger parts, with a poll showing 95 percent of the public supports the ban.
The Save The Tiger Fund, which commissioned the poll, said 1,880 people in seven major cities participated. They were asked about their use of tiger products, their preferences concerning products made from wild tigers, and China's 1993 ban on the trade.
The results showed almost 95 percent of respondents supported the ban.
Judy Mills is a representative from the Save The Tiger Fund. She said "The results present the strikingly clear message that most Chinese people care so much about wild tigers that they are willing to change behavior that threatens the survival of tigers in the wild."
The poll also showed that nearly half of the respondents had consumed what they thought were tiger products. Among them, almost 66 percent said they preferred medicinal products made from wild tigers, and 74 percent of tonic drinkers said they favored ingredients taken from wild tigers rather than farmed ones.
Grace Gabriel is a representative from the International Fund for Animal Welfare, or IFAW. She said, "The preference for products made from wild tigers confirms our fears that lifting the ban will send the message to poachers that it's open season on the animals, which would be disastrous for wild tigers."
She said tigers were being killed for trade on the black market, citing a case in which a Siberian tiger was skinned and decapitated at a private zoo in Yichang, Hubei province, last month. Police are investigating the incident, but have released no findings.
The IFAW and other tiger protection groups are supporting a new website - www.ilaohu.org. The site aims to influence government decisions on the ban. Ilaohu translates as "love tigers."
The new international efforts came after tigers died as a result of fund shortages at private animal parks.
In November, a Siberian tiger at a zoo in Northeast China was killed and eaten by four other starving tigers.
Seven tigers have died of starvation, illness, and wounds caused by fighting at the Yichang park - where the Siberian tiger was beheaded.
China joined the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora in 1981 and imposed a ban on the harvesting of tiger bones in 1993.
Sources with the forestry ministry said in July last year that the government was conducting research and gathering ideas from other countries, and that the ban would not be lifted any time soon.
1.In what year did China ban the trade in wild tiger parts?
2.The poll suggests what percentage of the public supports the ban?
3.How many people were questioned in the poll?
4.What percentage of those polled said they prefer wild tiger medicinal products?
（英语点津 Celene 编辑）
About the broadcaster:
Jonathan Stewart is a media and journalism expert from the United States with four years of experience as a writer and instructor. He accepted a foreign expert position with chinadaily.com.cn in June 2007 following the completion of his Master of Arts degree in International Relations and Comparative Politics.