The tiger trade in the EU

Legal and illegal trade  - a business for cold-hearted wildlife traffickers

Note: Any advertisements that may appear during the viewing of this video are unrelated to FOUR PAWS. We assume no liability for this content.

The Legal trade

Research by FOUR PAWS revealed that tiger traders operating in Europe can easily sell captive bred tigers to Asian countries where the demand for tiger parts for traditional medicine is widespread. Further enquiries also reveal how the legal trade facilitates illegal trade with tiger ending up in hands of convicted wildlife traffickers.

Between 1999 and 2016, 1412 live tigers were legally exported from Europe. Out of which, 161 were sent to various Asian countries (China, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam) where there’s a high demand for traditional medicine made with tiger parts.

Top 5 of EU member states exporting live tigers:

04Czeck Republic84


Exports of live tigers to Asia



tigertrade public opinion

The illegal trade

The killing of tigers for traditional medicine and the trade of tiger products is not only an issue in Asia but also here in Europe. Between 1999 and 2017, 8,278 illegal tiger products, such as tiger bouillon cubes, teeth and claws, and 57 illegal live tigers were confiscated in the EU. All seizures are assumed to represent 10% of what is smuggled so these official numbers only show the tip of the iceberg.

Top 5 EU member states regarding number of seized LIVE TIGERS:

01France8 seizures18 tigers
02Italy6 seizures13 tigers
03Belgium4 seizures11 tigers
04Slovakia2 seizures8 tigers
05Spain7 seizures7 tigers


Top 5 EU member states regarding number of seized TIGER PRODUCTS:

01Denmark16 seizures2 699 products
02Vietnam51 seizures1 784 products
03UK93 seizures918 products
04Germany36 seizures892 products
05Czech Republic7 seizures804 products


tigertrade public opinion

Public opinion

The world already lost over 90 per cent of its tigers. With only 3900 animals left in the wild, 91% of EU citizens want to see a ban of trade in captive bred tigers. Legal trade can easily pose a cover for illegal trade. The very few tigers left in the wild are at risk of being poached for quick money and traded under the pretext of captive bred tigers. Be part of the movement and sign the petition!

Tigertrade public opinion

It should be banned completely

It should be banned with the exception of conservation breeding programmes run by legitimate zoos

It should remain legal

Don’t know / No answer

This survey was conducted via an Internet Omnibus survey Fieldwork: 2nd - 6th August 2018​ Population: General population, 16-64 years old Countries: Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom Number of respondents: 7,223


Share the petition to spread the word.