JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – (September 23, 2016) – The following comment was issued today by the Wildlife Conservation Society at CITES CoP17.

Said WCS VP of International Policy and Head of the WCS Delegation to the CoP, Susan Lieberman:

“WCS applauds the Government of the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) for its announcement today that it is committed to closing facilities that keep and breed tigers for commercial purposes.

“Any commercial tiger farms undermine efforts to halt the illegal trade and protect wild animals by complicating enforcement efforts, and by facilitating the illegal trade in their parts and derivative products, which in turn enhances demand and stimulates trafficking for such items.  

“Lao PDR’s plans to shut down their tiger farms is needed to enable better enforcement behind protecting these species. 

“WCS stands ready to further assist our government partners in Lao PDR as they move forward to with this plan. 

For more information on WCS and CITES Cop17, go to