A United Nations body on Wednesday rejected China's proposal to lift a 14-year-old domestic ban to allow trade of tigers parts fearing it would lead to extinction of the big cats.
"Tigers should not be bred for trade in their parts or derivates," said a document approved by the 171-nation UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) on Wednesday.
India was in the forefront opposing China's move and said it could lead to unintentional impetus to smuggling of tiger body parts.
Indian delegation led by the Minister of State for Environment and Forest Namo Narian Meena told CITES that India oppose any move to lift the ban on trade in tiger body parts. China had told CITES last week that it would allow trade in parts from captive-bred tigers after a scientific review approval, adding that it would reduce poaching and will improve stocks of wild tigers worldwide.
China has 5,000 tigers in farms and just about 30 in wild. Business houses run most of the tiger farms in China. Tiger body parts were used in traditional Chinese medicine before a ban was imposed in 1993.
India's support — which has largest tiger population in the wild - is crucial for China to obtain approval for its proposal. "The minister will appeal to the international community to support the ban on trade of organs of tigers," said the environment ministry.
Indian government officials believe that lifting the ban for China will encourage smuggling of tiger body parts and will adversely impact tiger population in countries like India.