SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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RHINO AND TIGER CONSERVATION
SUBCOMMITTEE ON FISHERIES CONSERVATION, WILDLIFE AND OCEANS
COMMITTEE ON RESOURCES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCTO AMEND THE RHINOCEROS AND TIGER CONSERVATION ACT OF 1994 TO PROHIBIT THE SALE, IMPORTATION, AND EXPORTATION OF PRODUCTS LABELED AS CONTAINING SUBSTANCES DERIVED FROM RHINOCEROS OR TIGER
TO REAUTHORIZE THE RHINOCEROS AND TIGER CONSERVATION ACT OF 1994
FEBRUARY 5, 1998, WASHINGTON, DC
Serial No. 10569
Printed for the use of the Committee on Resources
COMMITTEE ON RESOURCES
DON YOUNG, Alaska, Chairman
W.J. (BILLY) TAUZIN, Louisiana
JAMES V. HANSEN, Utah
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
JOHN J. DUNCAN, Jr., Tennessee
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JOHN T. DOOLITTLE, California
WAYNE T. GILCHREST, Maryland
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCKEN CALVERT, California
RICHARD W. POMBO, California
BARBARA CUBIN, Wyoming
HELEN CHENOWETH, Idaho
LINDA SMITH, Washington
GEORGE P. RADANOVICH, California
WALTER B. JONES, Jr., North Carolina
WILLIAM M. (MAC) THORNBERRY, Texas
JOHN SHADEGG, Arizona
JOHN E. ENSIGN, Nevada
ROBERT F. SMITH, Oregon
CHRIS CANNON, Utah
KEVIN BRADY, Texas
JOHN PETERSON, Pennsylvania
RICK HILL, Montana
BOB SCHAFFER, Colorado
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
MICHAEL D. CRAPO, Idaho
GEORGE MILLER, California
EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts
NICK J. RAHALL II, West Virginia
BRUCE F. VENTO, Minnesota
DALE E. KILDEE, Michigan
PETER A. DeFAZIO, Oregon
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American Samoa
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
OWEN B. PICKETT, Virginia
FRANK PALLONE, Jr., New Jersey
CALVIN M. DOOLEY, California
CARLOS A. ROMERO-BARCELÓ, Puerto Rico
MAURICE D. HINCHEY, New York
ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD, Guam
SAM FARR, California
PATRICK J. KENNEDY, Rhode Island
ADAM SMITH, Washington
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
CHRIS JOHN, Louisiana
DONNA CHRISTIAN-GREEN, Virgin Islands
RON KIND, Wisconsin
LLOYD DOGGETT, Texas
LLOYD A. JONES, Chief of Staff
ELIZABETH MEGGINSON, Chief Counsel
CHRISTINE KENNEDY, Chief Clerk/Administrator
JOHN LAWRENCE, Democratic Staff Director
Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey, Chairman
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W.J. (BILLY) TAUZIN, Louisiana
WAYNE T. GILCHREST, Maryland
WALTER B. JONES, Jr., North Carolina
JOHN PETERSON, Pennsylvania
MICHAEL D. CRAPO, Idaho
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
FRANK PALLONE, Jr., New Jersey
SAM FARR, California
PATRICK J. KENNEDY, Rhode Island
HARRY BURROUGHS, Staff Director
JOHN RAYFIELD, Legislative Staff
KAREN STEUR, Democratic Legislative Staff
C O N T E N T S
Hearing held February 5, 1998
Statement of Members:
Farr, Hon. Sam, a Representative in Congress from the State of California
Miller, Hon. George, a Representative in Congress from the State of California
Prepared statement of
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSaxton, Hon. Jim, a Representative in Congress from the State of New Jersey
Prepared statement of
Statement of Witnesses:
Babbitt, Hon. Bruce, Secretary, Department of the Interior, accompanied by Brooks Yeager, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs, Department of the Interior, and Marshall P. Jones, Assistant Director for International Affairs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Prepared statement of
Bolze, Dorene, Senior Policy Analyst, Wildlife Conservation Society
Prepared statement of
Foose, Thomas J., Program Director, International Rhino Foundation
Prepared statement of
Fuller, Kathryn, President, World Wildlife Fund, accompanied by Ginette Hemley, Director of International Wildlife Policy, World Wildlife Fund
Prepared statement of
Lao, Dr. Lixing, Assistant Professor, Family Medicine, University of Maryland
Prepared statement of
Maple, Dr. Terry, President and Chief Executive Officer, Zoo Atlanta
Prepared statement of
Parsons, Richard M., Director, Department of Wildlife Conservation and Governmental Affairs, Safari Club International
Prepared statement of
Seidensticker, John, Curator of Mammals, National Zoological Park
Prepared statement of
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCAdditional material supplied:
Environmental Investigation Agency, prepared statement of
Text of H.R. 2807
Text of H.R. 3113
HEARING ON H.R. 2807, TO AMEND THE RHINOCEROS AND TIGER CONSERVATION ACT OF 1994 TO PROHIBIT THE SALE, IMPORTATION, AND EXPORTATION OF PRODUCTS LABELED AS CONTAINING SUBSTANCES DERIVED FROM RHINOCEROS OR TIGER AND H.R. 3113, TO REAUTHORIZE THE RHINOCEROS AND TIGER CONSERVATION ACT OF 1994
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 1998
House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans, Committee on Resources, Washington, DC.
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:03 a.m., in room 1334, Longworth House Office Building, the Hon. Jim Saxton (chairman of the Subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. SAXTON. Good morning. The Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans will come to order. Good morning. I would like to, once again, welcome everyone here.
STATEMENT OF HON. JIM SAXTON, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY
Mr. SAXTON. As you know, today we will discuss two important wildlife conservation bills, H.R. 2807 and H.R. 3113.
[The bills may be found at end of hearing.]
Mr. SAXTON. The first bill, which I introduced, H.R. 2807, will ensure that no person may import any product labeled or containing any species of rhinoceros or tiger into or export such product from the United States.
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Unfortunately, despite the fact that these species have been listed as endangered for over 20 years, there are pharmacies well located in America that have products on their shelves indicating they contain rhino and tiger parts.
While some of the products are confiscated prior to importation, it is virtually impossible to prove that the ingredients in the medicine originated from a rhinoceros or tiger. The Rhino and Tiger Product Labeling Act will solve that problem. If the label on the product says that it contains rhinoceros or tiger parts, then this legislation will prevent it from coming into the United States by making the legal presumption, without any further tests or analysis, that it violates our trade laws.
In short, if a medication says it contains components of rhinos or tigers, then we accept the manufacturer's assertion and stop its sale.
The second bill, H.R. 3113, was introduced by the distinguished Chairman of the Resources Committee, the Honorable Don Young, to extend the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act fund until September 30th, 2004. I strongly support this bill and believe the grants made from this fund are making a positive difference in the international fight to save rhinos and tigers.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Saxton follows:]
STATEMENT OF HON. JIM SAXTON, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY
Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen. I would like to welcome everyone to our Subcommittee's first hearing in the Second Session of the 105th Congress.
Last year, our Subcommittee was extremely productive and successful in moving a number of legislative proposals forward. We held 25 days of hearings, 7 markup sessions, 12 of our bills passed the House of Representatives, and 6 were enacted into law. I am particularly pleased that the President signed into law measures creating the Asian Elephant Conservation Fund, extending the Atlantic Striped Bass Act, protecting valuable herring and mackerel stocks off the coast of New Jersey, and establishing for the first time an organic act for our Nation's Wildlife Refuge System. I am confident we will build on that record this year.
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Today we will hear testimony on legislation to help save two highly endangered keystone species, the rhinoceros and the tiger. Unless immediate steps are taken, these magnificent animals will continue their slide toward extinction.
The first bill which I introduced, H.R. 2807, will ensure that no person may import any product labeled or containing any species of rhinoceros or tiger into, or export any such product from, the United States. Fortunately, despite the fact that these species have been listed as endangered for over 20 years, there are pharmacies all over America that have products on their shelves indicating they contain rhino and tiger parts.
While some of these products are confiscated prior to importation, it is virtually impossible to prove that the ingredients in the medicine originated from a rhinoceros or a tiger.
The Rhino and Tiger Product Labeling Act will solve that problem. If a label on a product says that it contains rhinoceros or tiger parts, then this legislation will prevent it from coming into the United States by making the legal presumption, without any further tests or analysis, that it violates our trade laws. In short, if a medication says it contains components of a rhino or tiger, then we accept the manufacturers' assertion and stop its sale.
The second bill, H.R. 3113, was introduced by the distinguished Chairman of the full Resources Committee, the Honorable Don Young, to extend the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Fund until September 30, 2004. I strongly support this bill and believe that the grants made from this Fund are making a positive difference in the international fight to save rhinos and tigers.
I look forward to hearing from our prominent witnesses and would like, in particular, to welcome back to our Subcommittee the distinguished Secretary of the Interior, Bruce Babbitt.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. Let me recognize Mr. Miller at this point, for any statement he may have.
STATEMENT OF HON. GEORGE MILLER, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Mr. MILLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will not have an opening statement. I just wanted to reiterate the point that was made by the Secretary, and that is prior to a lot of changes in international trade we had tools, I believe, that were available to us, that are not available today. That is one of the reasons that we need this legislation. I look forward to the testimony.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. Miller. I would now just like to ask unanimous consent that all Subcommittee members be permitted to include their opening statements in the record. Without objection.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Young follows:]
STATEMENT OF HON. DON YOUNG, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF ALASKA
Mr. Chairman, I am pleased that you are conducting this hearing today on two pieces of legislation to help conserve highly endangered rhinos and tigers.
There is no question that human population growth and intense competition for land has resulted in destruction of critical habitat for these species. After all, we are talking about some of the most densely populated countries in the world.
Nevertheless, the major cause for the decline of rhinos and tigers is the huge ongoing demand for products made from these animals. For generations, Oriental medicines have contained ingredients of rhino and tiger parts that are consumed to fight headaches and fever in children, kidney and liver problems, convulsions, and heart conditions. In almost all cases, rhino horn and tiger bones are obtained from illegal sources.
We must eliminate the market for these products to have any real hope of saving these flagship species. The legislation before us today is designed to assist in that effort and, in particular, I would like to highlight the important work of the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Fund.
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Since its inception in 1994, the Department of the Interior has funded 30 conservation projects to assist rhinos and tigers. These projects have included: aerial monitoring of the Northern white rhinoceros in Zaire; investigation of poaching and illegal trade in wild tigers in India; and the training of wildlife staff for four black rhino populations in the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania. The sponsors of these projects intend to match the $585,000 they have received in Federal funds, and I am confident that these grants will make a positive difference.
Since I believe the Fund is an effective investment of Federal money, I introduced H.R. 3113, which will allow the Secretary of the Interior to approve rhino and tiger conservation projects until September 30, 2004.
I look forward to hearing from our distinguished witnesses and to early Subcommittee consideration of this important legislation.
Mr. SAXTON. Now I would like to introduce our first witness, or I guess I should say reintroduce. Panel No. 1 is, of course, the distinguished Secretary of Interior, long-time friend of all of ours, the Honorable Bruce Babbitt. I am told the Secretary is also accompanied by Mr. Brooks Yeager and Mr. Marshall Jones.
Let me remind our witnesses that under the Committee rules we must limit our oral statements to 5 minutes or thereabouts, but your entire statement will be recorded in the record. Mr. Secretary?
STATEMENT OF HON. BRUCE BABBITT, SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, ACCOMPANIED BY BROOKS YEAGER, DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, AND MARSHALL P. JONES, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
Secretary BABBITT. Mr. Chairman, good morning, and thank you. I appreciate the opportunity to come before you and Congressman Miller and the Committee.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I will be very brief because there are witnesses here with, I think, a lot of really valuable information that you should hear from in the course of your deliberations.
I would like, No. 1, of course, to add the administration's enthusiastic endorsement of both of these pieces of legislation.
And second, congratulate you for the emerging bipartisan interest in these issues that relate to endangered species. With Republicans and Democrats on the bill, Senator Jeffords I am told has now introduced comparable legislation in the Senate. It is my hope that the emergence of this legislation is a harbinger of more to come in the entire area of protecting wildlife and endangered species.
The legislation extending the conservation fund simply builds on a demonstrated success. The Fish and Wildlife Service, I think, can point with pride to the way these appropriations have been parceled out in the range states in Africa and Asia. The money is moving down to the ground level of assisting in the administration of reserves, equipment, training, and that kind of thing.
I would simply say that I believe the impact of these appropriations has gone way beyond just a dollar figure, in terms of match, in terms of demonstrating the commitment of the United States to take the lead and to be a strong partner in range state conservation.
Lastly, a word about the product labeling legislation and its importance. The trade in rhino horn and tiger bone is still an enormous problem. I am told, for example, by the Fish and Wildlife Service, that a prime Asian rhino horn from which purchasers are delivered shavings onsite can command a price of $50,000 a kilo, which means that for poachers that rhino target out there in the range states is an animal worth a couple of hundred thousands dollars. That simply underlines the extraordinary importance of moving to shut down this trade.
The administration has been working hard on this, through Pelly Amendment certification and, in the case of Taiwan, through trade sanctions which were levied back in 1995. Those tools are quite successful. We have had, I think, a significant turn around in Taiwan, in terms of legislation, administrative changes, and the emergence of Taiwan as a partner in solving the problem rather than being part of the problem.
Page 13 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But this legislation today talks about our goal here in the United States. The fact is that there is a market flourishing for traditional medicines, including tiger bone and rhino horn.
The Fish and Wildlife Service has taken the initiative with an educational campaign because the bottom line is that the purchasers of these traditional medicines are not criminals and the owners of the shops, for the most part, are innocent parties unaware of the larger problem here. As other witnesses can describe to you, these campaigns have had a real impact in changing patterns and practices, a particular success story in Los Angeles.
But the bottom line is that behind the traditional culture of purchasers and small sellers is a large pipeline of distribution which cannot claim to be innocent, which is fully aware of the problem and really the lack of enforcement tools that have prevented us from cracking down on them.
That is really the ultimate need for this legislation, is to say that we are going to have, and will have, criminal sanctions based on product labeling alone which the Service can apply at the point of entry into the United States, through the distribution channels quick, effectively, and unequivocally as a result of the violation of the law which says the violation is the labeling itself. It is for that reason that we enthusiastically support this legislation.
[The prepared statement of Secretary Babbitt may be found at end of hearing.]
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Secretary, thank you very much.
I am just curious, can you think of any reason why highly endangered species parts, of any kind, should be sold in our country?
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary BABBITT. Mr. Chairman, I think the answer is no. In fact, there is a broad spectrum of issues here that you are well aware of, bear gall, a number of other issues, that presumably should have attention, as well.
Mr. SAXTON. We are aware of the bear problem as well and are looking at that as an upcoming project. One of the problems with the bear bill is it has gotten referred to a half a dozen committees and we would like to try to perhaps rewrite the bill to make it possible to streamline the process some.
Secretary BABBITT. Mr. Chairman, one way to go about that would be to look at the CITES lists of all of these products and it might be possible, actually, to consider legislation which imposed these kinds of sanctions as a function of determinations that have been made by the CITES group itself.
Mr. SAXTON. Are there any changes, based on our experience, that we might want to look at with regard to the Rhino and Tiger Conservation Act?
Secretary BABBITT. Mr. Chairman, I thought Mr. Maple had it just about right when he said yes, money.
Mr. SAXTON. Very good. Thank you. Mr. Miller?
Mr. MILLER. He is talking to the right guy.
Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary. Let me ask you, does the Department have under consideration any further Pelly Amendment actions? Have you looked at this and matched this against activities in other countries with respect to this problem?
Secretary BABBITT. Mr. Chairman, we have had a lively discussion about that. I think the consensus right now is that the Taiwan experience has really made a big difference in many of the Asian countries that we are working with, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand. I would say that at this moment, I think the Taiwan experience is still sufficiently resonant and has enough positive impact that we are not near a certification decision at this time.
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. MILLER. The reason I raise it is obviously there are very active discussions in the Congress and the administration and around the world about the IMF situation. I know that there are negotiations currently underway. As we know, fast track ran into serious problems because of both labor and environmental concerns, and a number of organizations are engaged in active conversations with the Secretary of Treasury and others about some of those concerns and how those can partially be addressed.
When I see Indonesia is a serious problem with compliance with CITES and also has the Javan rhino, I just wonder whether or not there is an opportunity here to enter into those discussions as part of this because again, in some instances, we have very direct actions within these nations and these are the same nations now that are on the table for $18 billion of our money.
I raise that because I know that the questions of both labor and environment are being raised in a number of forums with the Department of Treasury and others. I just wonder if we might look for an opportunity to join those. I do not suggest that IMF would hinge on this or not, but I think it is going to be an important consideration because it appears that we are down to some pretty serious thin margins, with respect to consideration of that legislation.
If there are potential recipient countries that are in serious violation either of CITES or our efforts to deal with, certainly in this case with the tiger and the rhino, I think that those ought to be brought to the other party administration's attention.
Secretary BABBITT. Mr. Miller, there is, I think, an interesting gap here that your comments go to. The CITES convention and the Pelly Amendment are aimed primarily at a fairly narrow spectrum, which is the trade issue. Underlying that is the larger issue of habitat conservation and classic species conservation. The CITES and Pelly Amendment really do not reach to that. It is a subject that I think could deserve a lot more attention.
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. MILLER. Thank you.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Secretary, thank you again for being here with us this morning, and for your extensive work on these issues. Members may have some additional questions. If so, we will submit them in writing.
Thank you for being with us this morning.
Secretary BABBITT. Mr. Chairman, thank you.
Mr. SAXTON. I will now introduce our second panel. On panel two, we have our friend Dr. Terry Maple, President and CEO of Zoo Atlanta; Ms. Kathryn Fuller, the President of the World Wildlife Fund. I understand Ms. Fuller is accompanied by Ms. Ginette Hemley, director of the international wildlife policy; and Dr. Lixing Lao, assistant professor, family medicine, at the University of Maryland.
Welcome folks. If you would like to take your places. Let me just remind you, while you are on your way to your places, that we do have this 5 minute rule for all the appropriate reasons. Your full testimony, of course, will be included in the record. When you are in place and comfortable, Dr. Maple, please begin.
STATEMENT OF DR. TERRY MAPLE, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ZOO ATLANTA
Mr. MAPLE. I represent the American Zoo and Aquarium Association and I am very grateful for the opportunity to support these two very important propositions.
The American Zoo and Aquarium Association represents 182 accredited institutional members and over 6,000 zoo and aquarium professionals. We attract over 120 million people who visit our member zoos and aquariums.
We are very grateful for the concern and interest that this Subcommittee has shown for conservation, not only for the rhino and the tiger, but the African and Asian elephant and many other highly endangered and threatened species.
Page 17 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC AZA is very pleased, as well, that the Asian Elephant Conservation Act has now been signed into law. We will work hard to see that funding can be secured for this and the programs presented here today.
As the Subcommittee is well aware, the situation facing all species of rhinoceros and tigers in the world has reached crisis levels with 95 percent of the tiger population having disappeared since the turn of the century. Today, fewer than 11,000 rhinoceros and 6,000 tigers are left in the wild, and these numbers continue to drop rapidly.
Since the 1940's, three tiger subspecies, the Caspian, Bali, and Javan have become extinct. The Sumatran rhino, numbering less than 500 animals, and the South China tiger are now among the most highly endangered mammals on earth.
While pressure from an expanding human population and the development of natural resources to supply booming economies have certainly contributed to a decline in worldwide populations, poaching has taken center stage since the 1980's as the primary reason for the decline of these animals.
The AZA strongly believes solving these serious problems requires a two-pronged attack. H.R. 2807 would ensure that no persons may import any product labeled or actually containing any species of tiger or rhinoceros or export any such products from the United States. While the bill would not affect the market within Asia, it would stop the increased importation of rhino and tiger products into the United States.
According to a recent report by our friends at the World Wildlife Fund and the World Conservation Society, more than 50 percent of all retail stores in North American Chinatowns continue to sell illegal endangered species products despite a 20-year ban.
Although all species of rhinos and tigers have been listed as Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species for nearly 20 years, the prohibition on trade of these animals and their parts has not been well enforced in some Asian countries. Passage of H.R. 2807, combined with increased appropriations, will certainly be a bold step by the United States in ending the slaughter of rhinos and tigers in the wild.
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The AZA and other conservation organizations must continue educating the public on the harmful effects of purchasing rhino and tiger products. The 182 institutional members of AZA are in a unique position to help.
For example, in this past year, AZA unveiled a new traveling exhibit designed to promote the survival of the tiger. The AZA Save the Tiger traveling exhibit Tiger in Crisis is designed to help education people about tigers, the problems they face as an endangered species and the efforts zoos and other conservation organizations are making to save them. This exhibit was funded by the Exxon Save the Tiger Fund program of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
The zoos and aquariums of AZA have also greatly expanded their conservation efforts well beyond their gates. We are involved in many field conservation programs on every continent, including rhino and tiger conservation programs in Asia and in Africa.
AZA zoos have also had the fortune of maintaining a number of endangered species under our care, which has given us the opportunity to develop successful techniques in reproduction, animal radio and satellite telemetry, veterinary techniques, genetic makeup, and population densities and disease control. These have been transferred to field conservationists who have used them well to work with tigers, rhinos and other creatures in the wild.
The AZA strongly supports the reauthorization of the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act. The AZA especially believes the Rhinoceros and Tiger Fund has already proven itself effective for critical conservation programs in Africa for the highly endangered northern and southern black rhinoceros, and for developing workshops in India and Indonesia for improving enforcement programs.
Fourteen projects at a total of $251,000 were funded in 1996. Like the African Elephant Conservation Fund, this fund is designed to be a quick strike in assisting conservation organizations on the front lines in saving these animals from extinction.
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We support it and we hope that it can be elevated in funding to that level appropriate for elephants in Asia and Africa. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Maple may be found at end of hearing.]
Mr. SAXTON. Dr. Maple, thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF KATHRYN FULLER, PRESIDENT, WORLD WILDLIFE FUND, ACCOMPANIED BY GINETTE HEMLEY, DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE POLICY, WORLD WILDLIFE FUND
Ms. FULLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you very much, on behalf of World Wildlife Fund, for your leadership on these and other species conservation issues.
World Wildlife Fund is an organization created in 1961. It works in about 100 countries around the world to save species and their habitat. There have been no higher priority species for us in our history than rhinos and tigers.
I am here this morning to make four basic points within the framework of a very enthusiastic endorsement of both bills. First, reauthorization of the Rhino and Tiger Conservation Act of 1994 and appropriations to the special fund it creates are very important.
The statistics that you have heard from Dr. Maple already are, of course, pretty grim. But there is some good news. In places where we have seen infusions of small amounts of funding through this fund, through the African Elephant Fund in that example, you can see real progress and in a very short period of time.
In Siberia, where the world's most majestic tigers live, the pressure was enormous, the tiger populations plummeting. The community came in with very small amounts of funding to increase anti-poaching assistance with the result now that the Siberian tiger population appears to have stabilized.
Page 20 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The black rhino population across Africa, again with modest amounts of funding, is stabilizing. The one-horned rhino populations of Southern Nepal are actually rapidly increasing as a result of support through the Rhino and Tiger Conservation Act, support from non-governmental organizations like World Wildlife Fund and other agencies.
We would very much like to see not only the reauthorization but funding of this Act at the $1 million level, which is where the request is for both the African and the Asian Elephant Conservation Acts.
Second, we think that the Rhino and Tiger Product Labeling Act is enormously important. The limitations on enforcement of existing laws to get these products labeled as containing rhino horn and tiger bone are quite significant. Agents and inspectors have to be able to prove what is in these products if they find them in large shipments at the ports of entry or in the shops themselves, and that is no easy matter.
In fact, the forensics are so limited currently that the best you can do is tell perhaps that something contains bone. You cannot even tell, if you are looking for tiger bone, that it is cat bone. So being able to address the problem of product labeled as containing rhino horn and tiger bone is quite significant. Just having those products in the marketplace, whether or not they contain rhino and tiger parts, perpetuates a market that is driving additional poaching in the wild.
Third, we would urge the U.S. Government to maintain and even increase the priority it has placed on enforcement of existing authority it has to protect rhinos and tigers in U.S. marketplaces and to, with passage of the new labeling Act, to take forward the good experience in Los Angeles of helping to reduce the availability of these products in the marketplace, and intensify its efforts particularly in ports of entry, where the Fish and Wildlife Service is already present.
The report that World Wildlife Fund's trade monitoring arm, TRAFFIC, issued recently called While Supplies Last: the Sale of Tiger and Other Endangered Species Medicines in North America, shows that here in our own backyard, in seven North American cities, almost 50 percent of the shops, 110 shops surveyed, were found to have products that appeared to contain rhino horn and tiger bone.
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And finally, we invite the Congress, the administration, other non-profits, and the zoo community to join us in a national outreach effort with the traditional Chinese medicinal community. We are now working, at World Wildlife Fund, with the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine on better outreach to that community to help identify culturally appropriate substitutes to the use of products that contain rhino horn and tiger bone.
Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Fuller may be found at end of hearing.]
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much, Ms. Fuller.
Ms. Hemley, I understand that you are going to be available for questions, but that you do not have an opening statement?
Ms. HEMLEY. That is correct.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you. Dr. Lao?
STATEMENT OF DR. LIXING LAO, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, FAMILY MEDICINE, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
Dr. LAO. Thank you. Good morning. My name is Lixing Lao and I am both a Doctor of Oriental Medicine and a Ph.D. I am here before you on behalf of the American College of Traditional Medicine in San Francisco, the Maryland Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine at Bethesda, and the Complementary Medicine Program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
The following is a joint statement prepared by Ms. Lixing Huang, the president of the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and myself.
We would like to thank the members of the Committee for providing the opportunity to testify today about the critical need for ensuring safe habitat for the endangered tiger and rhino, and about the most effective and pragmatic ways to achieve that goal in the near future.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC 1998 marks the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese calendar, which began on January 28th, the Chinese New Year. In the Chinese culture, the tiger is regarded as the king of the wildlife, a symbol of energy, strength, speed, agility, and power, as well as of threat and danger. There are a number of Chinese idioms with the character representing tiger in them.
To describe, for example, an individual or a business within certain conditions as being more successful, it is often expressed as tiger with wings. To praise active, healthy and energetic people, they are called a tiger come to life. The accomplishment of a task that includes great risk or danger is described as pulling the teeth out of a tiger's mouth. To have worked with a fine start and a poor finish is described as in like a tiger, out like a lamb.
For many, many years, people of Chinese descent have had an affinity for the image of the tiger, which has been reflected in the language, in literature, graphics, art and medicine.
Traditional Chinese medicine, known as TCM, and acupuncture has been developed over several millennia as an integral part of Chinese culture. In the United States, 34 states have passed legislation to support the practice of acupuncture and Chinese medicine and consumer demand has resulted in a growing number of insurance carriers and HMOs making some oriental medicine available.
The exploitation of the tiger and other endangered species for use in patent traditional Chinese medicine has been a major conservation concern over the last decade. Our associates in the World Wildlife Fund and in the Wildlife Conservation Society have already testified to the overwhelming threat faced by tigers in the wild, and we need not underscore the continuing threat to human life posed by the decreasing biodiversity of the planet.
Although CITES has banned the trade in tiger parts and products for over a decade, illegal commerce has continued because of the consumer demand, even though viable and effective alternatives to parts from endangered species are available. One of the key problems to be addressed is the lack of education about the alternatives to the use of endangered species parts among both consumers and practitioners.
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC One of the other major problems is the perception, because TCM is so thoroughly a part of Asian culture, that conservation efforts are a result of cultural imperialism and insensitivity. The initial approach to the problem of severe international mandates and government enforcement did not service to increase understanding.
Therefore, there is an urgent need for a new conservation approach.
An effective and pragmatic approach would be to educate consumers and, rather than impose upon, to work with TCM communities, bringing the awareness of the need for tiger conservation and useful medical alternatives directly into the community.
The World Wildlife Fund and our organizations have joined together in an effort to take this new conservation approach. Together, we have developed an outreach program which will serve as the first systematic effort in North America to educate TCM users and practitioners, both those within and outside of the Asian-American communities about endangered species issues. We will use culturally sensitive approaches and community based educators to reach each target audience. In addition, we will be joining several conferences and holding our own symposium in San Francisco on tiger conservation and TCM.
What our organizations and our colleagues now need from the Committee is not only this helpful public airing of these issues, but a commitment to help us secure the necessary private, and perhaps public, financial support to carry out this critical plan of education and outreach. We need an indication that you understand the gravity of the issues, and the usefulness and pragmatism of our approach to addressing them. In essence, we need for the Committee not to go in like a tiger and out like a lamb, but to instead pull that bad tooth from the mouth of the tiger so that the tiger can come alive and our project can be like a tiger with wings.
Please do whatever is in the scope of the Committee and of our individual offices to help us make this a year for the tiger. Thank you very much. We very strongly support the legislation.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC [The prepared statement of Dr. Lao may be found at end of hearing.]
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Dr. Lao.
Dr. Lao, in your statement, you say there is an urgent need for a new conservation approach. Are you referring, sir, to
Dr. LAO. Education approach, which is more education approach. Instead of oppose, rather educate the people to understand why they must support this. And also, people will understand there are lots of alternative parts we can use. For example, in China they have research that indicates you can use pig bone instead of tiger bone as medicine.
Mr. SAXTON. What is your feeling about the labeling bill that we are discussing today?
Dr. LAO. I strongly support the legislation.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
Dr. Maple and Ms. Fuller and Ms. Hemley, in general, how large do you believe the problem of medicines being imported into the United States is, and to what degree does this affect the taking of tigers and rhinos?
Ms. FULLER. We are quite concerned about the U.S. market. I had a chance to mention, in the press briefing we did earlier, that some of the work that WWF and its trade monitoring arm, TRAFFIC, have done to survey markets in China itself have shown that the availability of these products has gone down, and yet they are really on the increase here.
That suggests to us that there is a very deliberate illicit trade, a pipeline to the United States, that is not going directly into Chinese markets, whether it is stockpiles or new products that are being manufactured specifically for our market.
Mr. SAXTON. Ms. Hemley?
Ms. HEMLEY. Just to add to that, Mr. Chairman, one of the conclusions of the TRAFFIC study that was completed a couple of weeks ago is that there appears to be a wider variety of medicines labeled as containing tiger bone on the U.S. market now than ever before. We need to get at the root of the problem, obviously.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The markets in China appear to be much reduced, as you heard earlier, but we are not sure where these products are coming from. The United States needs to engage in dialog with the Chinese government to investigate if these are still being produced in factories in China.
In terms of gauging the impact on tigers in the wild, it is obviously very difficult to do. But one of the concerns we have is that with the U.S. emerging as a bigger market than we had previously thought, clearly something needs to be done. CITES has called upon all countries to pass the kind of legislation that we are discussing today, so regardless of the numbers that are being killed, we know that tigers are still being killed and the U.S. is likely to be contributing to that.
Mr. SAXTON. Can you speak, there are what, 1.2 billion Chinese people that live in China? Is this a problem there as well? And how does that problemI mean, it seems like there is such an immense population and if the cultural events occurring with regard to this subject there, do they dwarf the problem that exists here? Or is this a more significant part because of American economics and availability of moneys to be spent on these types of medicines?
Ms. HEMLEY. One of the things that we have discovered is that the open markets in China are not showing as much trade in these products as 5, 6 or 7 years ago. China did, in 1993, enact a very strict law that, somewhat to our own surprise, seems to be quite well enforced on the market there. China has banned the trade and sale and manufacture of medicines containing rhino and tiger.
China is the heart of traditional Chinese medicine and whatever happens there does impact the rest of the world. I think the emphasis that we need to place on this issue, in terms of the products, is on substitutes. To that end, as Dr. Lao has said, the good news from China in recent months is that there are substitutes available. We understand the Chinese government is promoting them. That is, I think, where we really can make progress in stemming the demand.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. MAPLE. One point I would like to make on this issue is that this is kind of an interesting question that normally you apply these funds in the field, in the range countries, and certainly education in China is very important, throughout the Far East, in fact.
But in America, really, this is an example of targeted social marketing and we are pretty good at this sort of thing normally, and I think we really do need to get together. I think the AZA and WWF, for example, might get together to focus efforts on these Chinese communities.
I am quite excited about returning to Atlanta to begin an educational process there, but we will have to allocate funds from some source to be able to get those issues to the people that need to know about this.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you. My time is about to expire, but just for the record, let me ask the administration has requested $400,000 for the Rhino and Tiger Conservation Fund in the next fiscal year. Do you believe that is enough? If not, what should the number be?
Mr. MAPLE. We would like $1 million. We think that is a good start.
Ms. FULLER. We concur.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you. Mr. Miller?
Mr. MILLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Let me, Ms. Hemley, just to follow up on the question the Chairman asked on the China market, in your report on 33 you discuss the China market and the laws that have changed. And then you list a series of manufacturers. Would those manufacturers not be manufacturing contrary to the law?
Ms. HEMLEY. They could be. They could also be exporting stockpiles of medicines that were manufactured before the 1993 Chinese ban. I known the administration has tried to get information from China to ascertain the source of some of these medicines. Clearly, more investigation is needed.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. MILLER. So when you are making tiger bone wine, and you list four factories in China that do this, conceivably they could be making this legally within the law?
Ms. HEMLEY. No, they cannot be manufacturing it now.
Mr. MILLER. You said from stockpiles or something.
Ms. HEMLEY. They may have existing stockpiles of products that were manufactured before 1993.
Mr. MILLER. The product would have had to have already been manufactured?
Ms. HEMLEY. Right, so they could have stockpiles there. However, the fact that we have found more new products, at least more labels, currently on the market makes us wonder just what is going on. It appears that manufacturing could be going on now in China illegally.
Mr. MILLER. So it may or may not be that this is a list of manufacturers who could be manufacturing illegally or their products on the shelves in the cities you investigated may or may not be there contrary to Chinese law? You do not know that?
Ms. HEMLEY. We do not know definitively.
Mr. MILLER. Dr. Lao, your testimony is thatand I ask you if this is testimony on behalf of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Institutethat there are effective substitutes for these products; is that correct?
Dr. LAO. Yes. These products are used for many years. But however, I want to point out that even though in thousands of years of Chinese medicine, using the products in the medicine, but it is a very small component. It is not a majorthere will not an impact on practice. I have been practicing many, many years and I never use any kind of this medicine.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. MILLER. If it was a major component, we would not be here today, it would have unfortunately gone by us. But I think it is important that we establish that your testimony is that there are effective alternatives to the medicinal use of these parts?
Dr. LAO. Yes.
Mr. MILLER. Now we get back to the legislation. How do you respond to the charge, other than people would engage in illegal activity, that when we do this we then create a black market, if you will, which probably already exists? To those people who still insist on, either for traditional beliefs or however, that they still want the parts of these tiger or rhino?
Ms. FULLER. The black market, you know, it is illegal to stand these products in interstate commerce, to begin with.
Mr. MILLER. I understand that.
Ms. FULLER. So the black market exists. The real issue has been education. It is a central piece of this and I do think that, working with the traditional Chinese medicinal community, the U.S. Government, the zoo community, organizations like WWF, we can make significant inroads.
Consumer behavior does change very dramatically with a combination of enforcement and public awareness. We have seen that, for example, with the wild bird trade. Congress enacted wild bird legislation. The number of illegally smuggled birds in the United States plummeted dramatically. So I think it can have a real effect.
Mr. MILLER. I think that is an important point and again, Terry suggested that you want to do this education, you want to go back to Atlanta and do this education. I do not know if we can do it in this bill or not, but I think that transitional education is an important part of this when you are dealing with people's traditional concepts of medicines and, as Dr. Lao has pointed out, this is not newly found.
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC This is been part of, in the case of the Chinese culture, has been this way for thousands of years about the tiger and all of its related cultural aspects. So when you start substituting and taking products off of the shelf, I think it would be very helpful to have some kind of educational component for people. Otherwise, I think you almost reinforce the belief that the tiger parts or the rhino parts are what you really want if you really have an ailment, as opposed to some kind of transitional education program.
Mr. MAPLE. We could do a wonder of good by targeting this next generation. I think we could do wonderful things.
Mr. MILLER. We always put these burdens on the next generation, but you are right.
Ms. FULLER. But interestingly, of course, the change in legislation and the educational effort in China and the formal promotion of alternatives by the Chinese government has made a huge difference in that country.
Mr. MILLER. I see my time is up, but thank you very much for your support and for your testimony on this. I look forward to working with you.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. Miller. Before we move to Mr. Farr, let me say to you folks who are standing in the back, if you would like to take a seat up here if you are weary of standing, please feel free to just walk right up here and take a seat or at the table. Help yourselves.
STATEMENT OF HON. SAM FARR, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Mr. FARR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. First of all, I want to thank you for having this hearing. I think it is too bad that it is not better attended, particularly that it is not on CSPAN, because I think this is the kind of issue that the American people want Congress to be discussing.
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I have a question for anybody on the panel. One of the complaints that I have heard, and not necessarily related to tiger and rhino issues, is that the native take of endangered sea mammals, specifically the ability of natives to harvest certain species and then use those parts for artistic purposes, is essentially creating a loophole in the law. In other words, using the claim that these are allowable native takes, is getting a lot of endangered species products into the market.
Have you noticed any of that? Is that a problem with species that we are dealing with here today?
Ms. FULLER. Ginette Hemley has worked extensively on International Whaling Commission and other marine mammal issues, and I think is probably well-versed in the issue.
Ms. HEMLEY. I am not aware of that kind of problem applying to the tiger and rhino issues that we are discussing here today and I know it has been raised as an issue in the context of some whale takes and other marine mammals, walrus and seals. So as far as rhinos and tigers go, it is essentially the poaching for the open, illegal commerce that is driving the problem.
And addressing that, both at the range state and in the field, with increased moneys for anti-poaching and now, as we are discussing here today, the consumer end, coming at it from both sides is really going to be the way to address it.
Mr. FARR. What do you think we, as the Congress, can best do? Passing legislation can be important, but if the world does not know about it, it is just another law on the books. It seems to me that most of this effort we go through is a matter of trying to educate people that there are rights and wrongs and that we, in enacting laws, make things wrong and subject to penalties. But it is not enough.
I have been in enough elective offices to know that that is not the final answer. Getting a law on the law book does not necessarily solve the problem if the world does not know the law is there.
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So you are speaking to a group of lawmakers. Are there any suggestions you have as to how we can use our roles as Members of Congress to
Mr. MAPLE. Personally, I would like to see more elected officials talking about conservation. When I was flying in here and I was reading The Hill, looking at the issues that both parties were addressing in the next year, and not a single line about conservation or about environmental issues of this kind.
So I think we all have an obligation to speak out a little more loudly, a little more frequently. You mentioned CSPAN. I wish they were here. They rarely cover issues of this type. It would be very good for them to do so.
We just need to put it on the radar screen. It is very, very important that we do so.
Ms. HEMLEY. Just to add to that, I think the collective efforts, as demonstrated here today with the various types of panelists, in the last couple of years we at World Wildlife Fund have joined with the Traditional Medicine community, with the zoo community and others, as well as Members of Congress. And that alone has really helped elevate the issue.
In Los Angeles, the Fish and Wildlife Service has effectively run an interagency task force that has really made an impact on the availability of medicines in Los Angeles, again working broadly with the different agencies as well as the traditional medicine community.
So that is, I think, where we can really make some move forwards. And this year, being the year of the tiger in the Chinese calendar, as Dr. Lao mentioned, is a key opportunity to really elevate awareness and I think we are off to a good start with this hearing.
Mr. FARR. But in that, we are going into a new era of collaboration. It seems to me that what is really important here is to develop these collaborative efforts. It may be rhino or tiger, but that is not really the issue. It is how do you mobilize society to eliminate things that are unwanted or declared illegal? And that is a process where I think governments can be much more effective.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We seem to only be able to do these collaborative things when there is a national priority. Take drug issues, for example. There used to be the fight between whether it was local control, State control or Federal control. Now we have all these enforcement agencies working in collaboration without regard to whose jurisdiction it is.
We have not yet done that in this field very well, except in the instance that you indicated in Los Angeles. There is probably something we can do to make those collaborations work better all over the world.
Ms. FULLER. Those of us in the conservation community, particularly organizations like World Wildlife Fund that have been field-based historically, putting money into specific parks and protected areas, species conservation work, we have really broadened our own set of activities to say to ourselves it is all very well and good to have a local success, but unless you really can influence the broader public, both in the United States and in other countries around the world, we are not going to be successful in conservation for the long term.
So we are investing more and more every year in public outreach, looking for collaborative partnerships with all stakeholders on an issue to elevate awareness and change behaviors. So we welcome opportunities to reach out.
Mr. FARR. I would be interested in following up. If you have any ideas of how we might create incentives to encourage those collaborations to be developed, I think that is where Congress could play a very effective role.
Mr. MAPLE. That is one of the great things about this fund is that it does encourage collaboration, the elephants funds as well. We are seeing more and more of this, and I delight at the collaboration at this table, and I believe that that is the secret to solving these problems.
Mr. FARR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much, Mr. Farr.
Dr. Maple, Ms. Fuller, Ms. Hemley, and Dr. Lao, thank you very much for your contribution and for taking time to be here with us today. Your contribution today, as always, has been very valuable. Thank you very much.
We will now move to our third panel. We have Ms. Dorene Bolze, senior policy analyst with the Wildlife Conservation Society; Dr. John Seidensticker, curator of mammals at the National Zoological Park here in Washington; Mr. Richard Parsons, Safari Club International; and Dr. Thomas Foose, program officer of the International Rhino Foundation.
Ms. Bolze, when you are prepared, you may begin.
STATEMENT OF DORENE BOLZE, SENIOR POLICY ANALYST, WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY
Ms. BOLZE. I would like to thank the Subcommittee for the opportunity to express the Wildlife Conservation Society's support for these two bills today. We are a member of AZA, we are based out of the Bronx Zoo, and we have been dedicated to protecting wildlife since 1895.
In 1995, we launched a specific and concentrated effort called the WCS Tiger Campaign, which is a suite of research and conservation efforts throughout the range of the tiger. One of the important aspects is that it includes the first program in mainland China to reduce demand for these products.
You have been talking today a lot about what is really social marketing, and that is what we have launched in mainland China. We are going to see how well it works.
I have attached a summary of the tiger campaign to my written testimony if you are interested in other details.
Since we have had a number of panelists speak eloquently in support for the Rhino and Tiger Conservation Fund, I would like to focus my 4 minutes or so to the Rhino and Tiger Product Labeling Act. I guess the one important message that we would like to say regarding the fund is that we would love to see it fully financed at $10 million. We do not understand why we are still bickering over $1 million.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In 1996, when I testified before this Subcommittee on the fund, I brought to its attention this whole problem of the illegal trade of tiger and rhino products in the U.S. and the need for this labeling bill. At that time, there was a bill in the Senate that Senator Jeffords had introduced.
The sale of these products is fueling poaching of these species in the wild, and we know that from a lot of our field projects in Indochina. There is no question that this is a serious problem in a lot of places for tigers and for rhinos. These products are patently illegal under CITES.
The Wildlife Conservation Society just completed a market survey in New York City. Our report, along with the TRAFFIC study, was jointly released for the press a couple of weeks ago, and we generated some press attention on this issue. A copy of this report is in your packets. We have a second printing and more copies will be available next week.
We found that 67 percent of the herbal stores in New York City carry illegal tiger products, and we found that most of the store owners knew that it was illegal. Interestingly enough though, most of the people in the Chinese community are not aware of the problem.
We combined our market study work with efforts in a pilot outreach project, which I will discuss in a second.
It is ironic, as you know, that these products are illegal and difficult to obtain in China, according to a separate TRAFFIC study, and yet these products were manufactured in China and they are found all over the United States.
Something else we found with some of the products we were able to obtain is that their lot numbers indicate that some of them were manufactured upwards of 10 years ago. We do not know if this implies that there are some stocks that have been in the U.S. for that long, or whether these are stocks that are illegally leaving China, but there are a lot of unanswered questions.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Nonetheless, the U.S. needs to take action. First, the Department of Interior needs to make law enforcement on the illegal trade in tiger and rhino products a priority. They did this in Los Angeles and it worked. Only one shop in 17 was found to have a tiger or rhino product for sale. But as far as we know, there has been no such effort anywhere else, and this is really inexcusable, especially since the Fish and Wildlife Service has known about this problem for several years.
As you probably know, some of this inaction has to do with the limitations in the ESA and in some of the State laws. In New York State, they are very interested in trying to remove these products from the shelves but they are deeply concerned that if they seize these products they will not be able to prove that they actually contain tiger or rhino as ingredients. So therefore, secondly, we need the Rhino and Tiger Product Labeling Act and we need it as soon as possible. It would really facilitate efforts in law enforcement.
I would like to make the recommendation, and I think some of the panelists already have, that if possible the Committee should explore how to broaden this bill beyond tigers and rhinos so that it applies to claims to contain species listed on Appendix I of CITES and those that are listed as endangered under the ESA. It just seems obvious that products should not be allowed to claim they contain species whose trade or use is prohibited.
Thirdly, we need to get these products off the shelves tomorrow, regardless of whether we have the Product Labeling Act. There are ways of doing this and exploring this. The Department of Interior really has not given that a lot of focus. They have done a fair amount of work in Los Angeles with focusing on imports rule.
These products potentially violate food and drug safety laws and product labeling laws, which are the jurisdiction of the FDA, and the FDA has really not shown much interest. We really would like to encourage the Department of Interior and the FDA to explore these options so that these products can be removed from the shelves.
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In conclusion, regardless of whether these products actually contain tiger or rhino ingredients, their presence on the shelves maintains the demand for authentic ingredients. They must be removed. We really would want to encourage the Department of Interior to make this a top priority action. And of course, we would love to see the Rhino and Tiger Product Labeling Act passed as swiftly as possible.
Based on our own work in New York City with pilot outreach efforts and on other studies, we have learned that the Chinese consumer and the American public in general is just simply unaware that the purchase of these products is directly related to poaching of these species in the wild. However, one of the encouraging things we learned with our pilot effort was that it was not that difficult to make that connection and actually to get people to want to take specific action, such as informing others to avoid using these products.
This is classic social marketing efforts. It is the key to reducing demand and eliminating the black market.
WCS really believes that additional financial resources are needed for stepped up law enforcement, to develop the reliable forensic tests, to do public outreach efforts. We want to see that going into increased budgets to the Department of Interior and not coming out of the Rhino and Tiger Conservation Fund. These funds should be applied to the countries where there are scarce resources to devote to conserving the tiger and the rhino in the wild.
Thank you very much for the opportunity to testify. We fully support these bills and we are willing to do whatever it takes to help pass them.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Bolze may be found at end of hearing.]
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much for your very eloquent testimony. We have a 15 minute vote followed by a 5-minute vote and so, rather than to go further at this point, we are going to vote. We will be back and that way we will be able to hear your testimony in a more relaxed atmosphere. Thank you.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC [Recess.]
Mr. SAXTON. I believe we were about to move to our next witness, Dr. Seidensticker, who is taking his place. Doctor, the floor is yours.
STATEMENT OF JOHN SEIDENSTICKER, CURATOR OF MAMMALS, NATIONAL ZOOLOGICAL PARK
Mr. SEIDENSTICKER. Good morning. Thank you for inviting me here today, Mr. Chairman.
About 25 years ago, I led the team that put the first transmitter on a tiger in Nepal, a radio transmitter. I was working in Indonesia at the passing of the last Javan tigers. Believe me, to watch a species or subspecies go extinct is a horrible experience. It is like losing a family member.
There is great trouble in tiger land. The tiger is in crisis. Tiger poaching and trade in tiger parts and products have not been stopped in the tiger range states or internationally. The great protectors, which are suitable habitat and adequate prey populations really are shrinking at human hands. Much of the tiger's survival problem today can be traced to human poverty and increased accessibility to tiger habitats.
Three of the eight tiger subspecies are extinct. The remaining five subspecies are endangered. Their remaining populations are carved up into more than 160 fragments separated by inhospitable habitat. We will lose the tiger, the very symbol of power and grace in wild Asia, unless we immediately take up the challenge of saving the tiger.
To save the tiger in its principal habitats and its essential prey populations, we must have the support of those people that live with tigers on a daily basis and are directly impacted by tigers living in their midst. We must make live tigers worth more than dead tigers for these people and landscapes with tigers worth more than landscapes without tigers.
To save the tiger we must have the support of the decisionmakers who make the hard decisions. We can help by reducing incentives to poach tigers and by providing road maps for reducing human-tiger conflicts and incentives for making tigers worth more alive than dead.
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC To save the tiger we must engage the public and gain broad public support because the public must be a partner in saving the tiger because it is the public that supports the legal framework that protects tigers and foots much of the bill. An ongoing public education program is of highest priority.
There are good building blocks for realistic tiger conservation in place. Money, political will, key legislation and cooperation and integration are really needed to start cementing these building blocks together into a future for the tiger. Partnerships are beginning to show that there is a hope for the tiger's future and we must encourage such partnerships.
In the Russian Far East, for example, there is hope for the outlook for the Siberian, or Amur, tiger, where it was really quite grim just 3 years ago. The Save The Tiger Fund joined with the World Wildlife Fund and many other organizations, including USAID, and invested in an anti-poaching program and research on the tigers' needs and survival. And most importantly, into taking this research and turning it into an ongoing land use planning process that includes the tiger for the future.
The fund has joined with these same partners in a remarkable collaboration in the lowlands of Nepal adjacent to the Royal Chitwan National Park to create six square miles of new critical habitat where there was only degraded forest patches when I worked there years ago. This is a model program that can be adapted to many tiger areas in the future to give incentives for those people living near tigers to keep them alive.
We must respond to both the short and the long-term processes facing this splendid great predator to save it. We must stop the poaching and provide the training and other law enforcement activities to control this. We must sustain the legal structure of CITES to control trade in tiger parts and their products.
The programs that curtail tiger poaching must go hand in hand with convincing users that there are alternatives to medicines made of tiger parts, and we must act to take tiger bones out of traditional Chinese medicine. We must build on the existing beginning of partnerships with TCM users and practitioners to gain their support in saving the tigers and also have a substitute for tiger bone in TCM that is sufficiently sanctioned.
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We must plug the gap in our national legislation. If the product label indicates the product contains rhino or tiger parts, it must be treated as legally so. We must give this tool to our conservation agents if we are going to make headway here at home to save the tiger. This reduces the incentive for poaching tigers, but more importantly the message is we care about the tiger's future.
The endangered tiger is an indicator of ecosystems in crisis and we must direct our attention to the tiger's long-term future and support sustainable ecosystems and landscapes in terms of resource production that also sustain valuable tiger populations. Protecting tigers means managing habitat for long-term rather than short-term exploitation for forest products.
Many of the remaining tiger habitats are also critical watershed protection areas and long-term sustainable management for these areas is essential for all those who live downstream. This is good for people living in tiger land, for their economy, and in the long term the tiger benefits.
We are at an important, critical juncture where continued and expanded financial support for such programs that are an integral part of the Rhino and Tiger Conservation Act is a key to securing the tiger's future.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Seidensticker may be found at end of hearing.]
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much, Doctor. Mr. Parsons?
STATEMENT OF RICHARD M. PARSONS, DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE CONSERVATION AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS, SAFARI CLUB INTERNATIONAL
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. PARSONS. Good morning, Chairman Saxton. My name is Richard Parsons and I am the director of the Department of Wildlife Conservation and Governmental Affairs for Safari Club International. We appreciate the invitation to testify before the Subcommittee.
We support the passage of both H.R. 2807 and H.R. 3113, although in the case of H.R. 2807, we would like the opportunity to work with the Subcommittee to include some language that would avoid possible unintended impacts on legal shipments.
In regard to H.R. 3113, the reauthorization bill, we testified in support of the passage of the original Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act. In fact, we worked with the sponsors to help develop that legislation.
We definitely support the continuation of funding for this important piece of conservation legislation and, like all the speakers before me, we would like to call on the administration to increase their request for funds during the appropriation process so that the many needed programs for rhino and tiger conservation can be considered and funded.
We would like to take this opportunity to discuss for a moment the important role that sport hunting plays in the conservation of rhinoceros. Both international and United States law allow the importation of sport hunting trophies from one subspecies, the southern white rhino. We would like to submit for the record, and we have in our testimony, the following points on the benefits of this particular program in the range state itself, in South Africa.
The program involves the taking of approximately 40 animals per year out of a population of more than 4,200, which is only 1 percent of that population, well within the limits of sustainability. The shipments are strictly controlled. There is no indication of illicit trade.
In managing that species, expenditures can go up to $1,200 per square kilometer per year. The hunting activity itself has generated more than $22 million, much of which has been reinvested in management of that species. The species has climbed from 4,000 animals in 1984 to more than 7,000 presently.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC This brings us to our concern with H.R. 2807. We understand that this bill is aimed at enhancing enforcement by allowing agencies to prosecute cases where powdered substances, for example, come into the country or are sold in interstate commerce and are purported to be medicinal or similar items such as rhino horn and tiger bone. And we understand that the agencies would have to go through expensive and difficult testing in order to actually provide evidence that the materials are, in fact, rhino or tiger. And we support the enforcement of the law as it should be.
However, we have a concern that language of the bill as it stands at the moment is rather broad and we note that there were statements made this morning during the hearing that, as opposed to the language in the bill, have assumed a broad coverage. What we want to avoid is the unintended effect that something like the importation of the sport hunting trophy from the southern white rhino, which is completely legal and which enhances conservation of that species in South Africa in the field would not be interfered with, so we would appreciate the opportunity to work with the Committee on that.
We have spoken informally to officials of the Interior Department. They agree with the concern and they agree that it can be rather simply solved.
We appreciate the opportunity to appear before you and we would be glad to answer any questions.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Parsons may be found at end of hearing.]
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much, Mr. Parsons. Mr. Foose?
STATEMENT OF THOMAS J. FOOSE, PROGRAM DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL RHINO FOUNDATION
Mr. FOOSE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I am here representing the Asian and African Rhino Specialist Groups of IUCN, the World Conservation Union. Also the International Rhino Foundation, which is an NGO that works exclusively with rhinos and contributes or coordinates about $1 million a year in rhino conservation projects. I am also representing the Rhinoceros Advisory Group of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association.
My comments today are going to relate obviously to rhinos and mostly to the reauthorization of the Rhino and Tiger Conservation Act and Fund. (Foose presents slides.)
Mr. SAXTON. Dr. Foose, if you could justsomebody please help us with the lights there?
Mr. FOOSE. The Rhino and Tiger Conservation Act was passed in a time of crisis for these species. This crisis continues, as is most cogently and poignantly conveyed by the current estimates of the numbers for the five species and 11 subspecies of rhino.
There are fewer than 13,000 rhinos of all five species and 11 subspecies combined. However, that number is deceptive because well over half of the 13,000 are of a single subspecies, the southern white rhino. The numbers of four of the species, the black, the Indian, the Sumatran and the Javan, are fewer than 6,000 combined. And the numbers of the three Asian species combined are only about equal to the rarer of the two African species, in other words, the black rhino.
Just one more point to observe on the numbers that I think is relevant to these considerations, and that is that the numbers of all the rhinos combined and indeed all the rhinos and tigers combined are fewer in number than the estimated numbers of either species of elephant.
All of the species and subspecies of rhino are far below the levels of numbers that conservation biologists consider viable.
Rhinos are capable of recovery. Indeed, the two species of rhino that have done the best in recent years, the Indian rhino and the southern white rhino, were almost lost around the turn of the century due to over-exploitation. Both species have recovered from very small numbers of animals, perhaps as few as 20 in each case.
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC As has already been mentioned this morning, since the Rhino and Tiger Act was passed, there has been improvement in the numbers and status of rhinos. The numbers of black rhino in Africa have stabilized and are indeed recovering. In fact, they have recovered about 10 percent from their low point of 2,300 in the years that the Rhino and Tiger Act has been operative. Southern white rhino and Indian rhino continue to increase well. The establishment of an effective system of rhino protection units in Southeast Asia is assisting the extremely rare Sumatran and Javan rhino.
Also during this period a number of the range states and regions have been actively attempting to develop more income generation activities that will contribute to financial sustainability of the programs.
The Rhino and Tiger Conservation Fund has been contributing significantly to this stabilization and recovery of rhinos. Moreover, reiterating a comment by Secretary Babbitt this morning, in addition to the benefits of the funds themselves, the Rhino and Tiger Conservation Fund has been serving an extremely significant function to help better coordinate and improve the quality and rigor of many of the rhino conservation programs.
A prime example of this is the Javan rhino situation. Through support for and participation in a Javan rhino colloquium which got all of the parties involved with this species together, and through the RTC, the Rhino and Tiger Conservation Fund, review and critiques of project proposals, a much improved and coordinated program for this species has emerged.
The organizations that I represent really want to commend the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of the Interior for the manner in which it has administered the Rhino and Tiger Conservation Fund.
Having stated all of that, there remain very critical and precarious areas in trends for rhino conservation. The northern white rhino is literally on the brink of extinction. There are fewer of them than there are people in this room. This, ironically, was a success story in rhino conservation until the recent civil war in Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo. The northwestern species of black rhino, which survives only in Cameroon, is even rarer. And the numbers of Sumatran and Javan rhino remain perilously low.
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Moreover, much of the success in rhino conservation in Africa has occurred in four or five countries, notably Kenya, the Republic of South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe. These countries have been, over the last decade, investing enormous amounts of their own resources in rhino conservation, but all of them are now confronting other problems and priorities that are going to translate into reduced budgets for rhino conservation in those range states. For example, in Natal province in South Africa, the budget has already been reduced $1 million for this next year.
The economic crisis that has been going on in Southeast Asia is obviously also not going to contribute to the capacity of range states to support rhino conservation.
Hence, there should be no complacency. The next 5 to 7 years are going to be critical in terms of whether rhino species and subspecies survive.
The two rhino specialist groups have assisted range states in developing their continental and national action plans. Basically over the next 5 to 7 years it is estimated that there is need for at least $3 million a year in Asia and another $3 million a year in Africa in external support for the range states if the rhino programs are to be sustained.
NGO's and the private sector can provide some of these funds, but it is vital that the U.S. Government and, in particular, the Rhino and Tiger Conservation Fund, continue and, if possible, increase the level of their support.
The organizations I represent, therefore, reinforcing the recommendations that have already occurred here this morning, would encourage an increase in the appropriations for the Rhino and Tiger Conservation Fund to at least $1 million in fiscal year 1999 and perhaps moving toward $1.5 million in subsequent years, to be distributed among rhinos and tigers.
This amount would compliment and stimulate continued matching funds from other NGO's and private partners. This kind of matching has already occurred with the Rhino and Tiger Conservation Fund where the ratio of rhino and tiger funds to matching funds has been about 30 percent to 70 percent. It would also move rhinos and tigers toward more parity with elephants, in terms of the support that it gets from the U.S. Government.
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Finally, just as a final comment, I want to observe something relative to this slide. This is not a scene from Africa or Asia. It is a scene from our own great plains a number of millions of years ago. It is both appropriate and ironic that the U.S. has become so central to rhino conservation. The U.S., a long time ago, was the center of rhino distribution on the planet. Rhinos were the most common large mammals in North America from about 40 until about 5 million years ago, when we lost our native rhinos.
Through the Rhino and Tiger Conservation Fund, as well as the efforts of AZA institutions and their species survival programs and other conservation programs that have been described here this morning, the U.S. has the opportunity to help save these species from extinction.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Foose may be found at end of hearing.]
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you all very much.
I have a question for each of you, but before I do that we have some guests here this morning that I would just like to take a minute to recognize. Mr. Brian Kirby is a government teacher at Highland High School in Warrenton, Virginia and he is here with several students. Where are you folks? There they are, in the back.
Welcome. We are really glad you are here and we hope that you have enjoyed your morning and learned something at the same time.
Mr. KIRBY. Thank you. It has been very informative.
Mr. SAXTON. Let me just ask a question for each of you to try and respond to. Obviously, we know that there is an economic incentive to destroy these animals. We also know that human conflict takes place with these animals and that may be part of the problem, as well. We also recognize that there is a habitat conservation effort which is necessary in this case, as in other cases.
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We have tried to, over the past 4 or 5 years, design some solutions that Congress feels is appropriate. We have two bills which we are discussing today.
My question is this, if you had a clean blackboard and a chalk and you wanted us to design a program to move forward from here on, to do what it is that we are here to talk about, mainly saving these species, what would you suggest in addition to or different from that which we are doing? Anyone want to start? You all look puzzled.
Ms. BOLZE. Congress is the legislative body in the United States. If you are going to design a broad based tiger conservation strategy, which WCS produced in a report that we did about 2 years ago, it is going to involve lots of different countries and lots of different activities.
So Congress is not going to be able to put the entire program in action. I think therefore the role of Congress right now is to fix some of the legal inadequacies that we have in our U.S. law. Hopefully, Congress can light a fire under the Department of Interior and FDA to pay some attention to trying to remove these products from the shelves. And the Rhino and Tiger Conservation Fund is a very useful vehicle for transferring U.S. money to other countries, a very supportive effort in trying to conserve these species in the wild.
There is also the role of the Pelly Amendment or other types of issues that were discussed earlier regarding the larger issues of trade and how that affects conservation issues and environmental issues. Those are the key issues that Congress can take on and they should be taking on.
Mr. FOOSE. I think that what Congress has enacted so far represents a very diversified and effective program for virtually all aspects of the problem. As I believe it was Terry Maple that observed, what really is needed now are more funds to better implement those programs.
Mr. SAXTON. I would suspect that each of you would agree that the $400,000 requested by the administration is insufficient?
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. FOOSE. Certainly.
Mr. SAXTON. Any further comments?
Mr. SEIDENSTICKER. I neglected to mention, I am also chairman of the Save The Tiger Fund, which is a partnership between the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Exxon Corporation.
We are seeking projects, like I mentioned, that really try to stabilize what is going on at the edge of reserves and to create habitat where there has not been habitat before. Tigers are divided up into about 160 populations. We think we have a pretty good chance if we work on saving about 50 of those populations.
We need good projects like we have going in Nepal at every single one of those areas. That is the sort of thing that I would invest in. I think that the Rhino and Tiger Conservation Act can do that.
And so I would go for the $10 million versus the $1 million.
Mr. SAXTON. Well thank you, very much. Mr. Parsons?
Mr. PARSONS. I am not going to get giddy with the government surplus, but when we first supported this bill we had in mind the good work that had been done under the Elephant Conservation Act. Our perspective is that the U.S. can help by putting money out into the range states. We have heard in the past the many promises that were made by many environmental organizations and governments to provide money to save rhinos. And in fact, very little has happened.
This law and the Elephant Act, have been the first real efforts to provide funding on a reliable basis, and we commend everybody for doing it. We think that the clean slate was there a few years and the Congress is acting properly.
Our concern has been to urge the administration to consider programs in the range states, where the real needs are conserving the habitats and giving an incentive to the local people to be willing to share their land and their lives with animals which are both large and dangerous.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So we think that we are going in the right direction. We agree with everyone that some more money is needed and we would like some attention to the programs in the range states. Thank you.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
I would like to thank all of you for being here this morning. Your insights have been very valuable.
The members of the Subcommittee may have some additional questions for you and, if so, we will ask you if you would be kind enough to respond in writing. The hearing record will be kept open for 30 days for those responses.
[The testimony of the Environmental Investigation Agency may be found at end of hearing.]
Mr. SAXTON. I know of no other business and, at this point, I will adjourn the hearing. Thank you.
[Whereupon, at 11:56, the Subcommittee was adjourned.]
[Additional material submitted for the record follows.]
STATEMENT OF LIXING LAO, PH.D., THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE, THE MARYLAND INSTITUTE OF TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE, THE COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE PROGRAM, SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
Good morning. My name is Lixing Lao and I am both a Doctor of Oriental Medicine and a Ph.D. I am appearing here before you today on behalf of the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) in San Francisco; the Maryland Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine at Bethesda (MITCM); and the Complementary Medicine Program (CMP) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland and also serve as Clinic director at the Maryland Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In case any of your staff wish to search our web site, the U.R.L. address is, for ACTCM: www.actcm.org: for MITCM: www.mitcm.org; for CMP at the University of Maryland: www.compmed.ummc.ab.umd.edu
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The following is an jointed statement prepared by Ms. Lixin Huang, the President of the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and myself.
We would like to thank the members of the Committee for providing the opportunity to testify today about the critical need for ensuring safe habitat for the endangered tiger, and about the most effective and pragmatic ways to achieve that goal in the near future.
1998 marks the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese calendar, which began on January 28th, the Chinese New Year. In Chinese culture, the tiger is regarded as the ''King of Wildlife,'' a symbol of energy, strength, speed, agility, and power, as well as of threat and danger. There are a number of Chinese idioms with the character representing ''tiger'' in them. To describe, for example, and individual or a business within certain conditions as being more successful, it is often expressed as ''tiger with wings''; to praise active, healthy and energetic people, they are called ''a tiger come to life''; the accomplishment of a task that includes great risk or danger is described as ''pulling the teeth out of a tiger's mouth''; to have worked with a fine start and a poor finish is described as ''in like a tiger, out like a lamb.'' For many, many years, people of Chinese descent have had an affinity for the image of the tiger, which has been reflected in the language, in literature, graphics, art, and medicine.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (hereby TCM) and acupuncture has been developed and perfected over several millennia as an integral part of Chinese culture. It has counterparts in the Ayurvedic system of India and in some Western practices. It is widely used today throughout the world, often integrated with allopathic biomedicine, the most prevalent form of medical practice in the United States. In the United States, 34 states have passed legislation to support the practice of acupuncture and TCM, and consumer demand has resulted in a growing number of insurance carriers and HMOs making some Oriental Medicine available.
TCM is a system of health care based on the concepts of Chinese natural philosophy, and it encompasses internal medicine, gynecology, pediatrics, dermatology, mental dysfunction, gerontology, immunology, oncology and pain management. Its applications range from the therapeutic practice of herbology and nutrition to acupuncture, massage, and Tai-Ji and Qi Gong exercises. As a long-standing and evolving form of human health care, TCM relies primarily on botanical materials and acupuncture needles as the basis for treatments, the latter have been classified by FDA as medical devices and confirmed by NIH as a safe and effective therapy ''for the relief of pain and for a variety of health conditions.''
Page 50 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Chinese materia medica are usually used in two ways: in traditional whole remedies and in ''patent medicines.'' In traditional whole remedies, unprocessed materia medica are mixed according to ancient formulae as modified and prescribed by a trained practitioner, who may perhaps also follow an established standard of care in certain syndromes. ''Patent medicines'' are also combined according to traditional formulations or standards of care, but are processed into tablets, tonics, pills and powders produced in large quantities. These are packaged in a medical factory and sold, exported to markets worldwide. The United States and Canada both import and produce such ''patent medicines.''
The exploitation of the tiger and other endangered species for use in ''patent medicines'' has been a major conservation concern over the last decade. Our associates in the World Wildlife Fund and in the Wildlife Conservation Society have already testified to the overwhelming threat faced by tigers in the wild, and we need not underscore the continuing threat to human life posed by the decreasing biodiversity of the planet. Although CITES has banned the trade in tiger parts and products for over a decade, illegal commerce has continued because of the consumer demand, even though viable and effective alternatives to parts from endangered species are available. One of the key problems to be addressed is the lack of education about the alternatives to the use of endangered species parts among both consumers and practitioners. One of the other major problems is the perception, because TCM is so thoroughly a part of Asian culture, that conservation efforts are a result of cultural imperialism and insensitivity. The initial approach to the problem of severe international mandates and government enforcement did not serve to increase understanding.
Therefore, there is an urgent need for a new conservation approach.
An effective and pragmatic approach would be to educate consumers and, rather than impose upon, to work with TCM communities, bringing the awareness of the need for tiger conservation and useful medical alternatives directly into the community.
Page 51 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The World Wildlife Fund and our organizations have joined together in an effort to take this new conservation approach. Together, we have developed an outreach program which will serve as the first systematic effort in North America to educate TCM users and practitioners, both those within and outside of the Asian-American communities, about endangered species issues. We will use culturally sensitive approaches and community-based educators to reach each target audience. In addition, we will be joining several conferences and holding our own symposium in San Francisco on tiger conservation and TCM.
What our organizations and our colleagues now need from the Committee is not only this helpful public airing of these issues, but a commitment to help us secure the necessary private, and perhaps public, financial support to carry out this critical plan of education and outreach. We need an indication that you understand the gravity of the issues, and the usefulness and pragmatism of our approach to addressing them. In essence, we need for the Committee not to go in like a tiger and out like a lamb but to, instead, pull that bad tooth from the mouth of the tiger so that the tiger can come alive and our project can be like a tiger with wings.
Please do whatever is in the scope of the Committee and of your individual offices to help us make this a Year for the Tiger.
Thank your very much for your time.
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