- The Washington Times - Friday, March 28, 2014

Chinese businessmen with big bucks are seeking entertainment and relaxation at underground venues that offer illegal tiger kills and consumptions.

At least 10 tigers have reportedly been killed in recent weeks for rich businessmen in China who pay top dollar for the spectator sport that caps with the eating of the prey, The Independent reported.

It’s an “exotic delicacy” that’s favored not only by business executives but also government top dogs who want to show off their social status, the state-run Nanfang Daily reported. One government official said to the China Daily that when political or business people want to impress, they slaughter a tiger “simple as a form of entertainment and to show off their wealth.”

He continued, in the newspaper: “A friend once telephoned me to witness the killing of tiger, but I was out of town on business and missed the opportunity.”

It’s believed the animals are smuggled across the border from Vietnam. Police recently discovered the body of one tiger during a raid in the southern Guangdong province, along with tiger products and weapons. They think up to 10 have been similarly killed in the last month or so.

The Chinese believe tigers possess certain medical qualities, but butchering of the animals has been outlawed since 1993.

“Tigers are subjected to slaughter so long as Chinese have faith in the medical value of tiger products, such as their bones or male genitalia, which are actually very controversial in terms of their efficacy,” said Xie Yan, an expert with the Institute of Zoology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in The Global Times.

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