Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1
    The Dentist English Noodles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Burning Down a Pikey Caravan
    Posts
    17,230

    Animal Whose Fur is Worth More Than Gold

    Just watched a documentary on Animal Planet tonight about the illegal trade of shahtoosh which is the wool of the chiru antelope, the main gang was dealing in India and Bangkok, they were all indian and the undecover farang managed to set the up and the Thai police busted them. I was quite shocked at what i learned from it and have been even more shocked since resarching the subject a little further on the internet.

    Here is the jist of it, the documentary is mentioned in the article below.


    Gunned Down For Fashion: The Animal Whose Fur is Worth More Than Gold


    When the men first sighted the beautiful baby antelope in the moonlight, it was past three o'clock in the morning.

    The creatures were only a few hours old and still wobbling about on their spindly little legs. Mothers and grandmothers nuzzled them protectively. A single male stood guard, sniffing the air tentatively for any signs of danger.

    It was a beautiful, heart-warming sight that could easily have been taken from a David Attenborough documentary - but for what happened next.

    A group of six men in a four-wheel-drive truck slowly approached the herd. A rough-looking man lifted an ageing automatic rifle to his eye, took aim and fired. A pregnant antelope dropped to her knees and began twitching violently.




    The rest of the men in the truck threw back a green tarpaulin and switched on an enormous headlight to bathe the herd with a burning white light. The antelope froze with fright, making them easy targets.

    In a matter of seconds, the entire herd was gunned down with assault rifles and machine guns. Dozens of antelope lay dead - slaughtered for one of high-fashion's most desirable 'items', the shahtoosh shawl, made from the wool of the chiru antelope.

    Coveted by the super-rich and fashionistas alike, shahtoosh has a mystique like no other. Shahtoosh, which means 'king of wool' in Persian, is so fine, light and translucent that a shawl made from it will pass through a wedding ring.
    It makes cashmere feel like horse-hair and the delicate astrakhan (made from foetal lambs) like an old woollen jumper. Napoleon gave a shahtoosh shawl to Josephine. Indian maharajas gave them to their concubines and Chinese emperors sent armies to plunder them.

    Shahtoosh went out of fashion almost a decade ago, shortly after it became illegal and police around the world began to crack down on traders. But in certain circles in the UK, shahtoosh is once again becoming a must-have commodity, with no one knowing or caring where it comes from.

    Consumers are fuelling a trade that is driving to extinction one of the most beautiful and exotic creatures in the world. It is also driving a parallel and equally illegal boom in poached tiger bones, drugs and arms.
    "It's a disgusting trade," says Trevor Pickett, of Picketts, one of London's most exclusive leather and scarf boutiques.

    "We get dealers coming in from time to time, but we always send them on their way. Even if it wasn't illegal, we still would not touch it."
    Andy Fisher, head of the Metropolitan Police's Wildlife Crime Unit, says: "If there is a market for something, then someone will supply it.
    "Twenty years ago shahtoosh was traded on a small scale by local communities. But once the fashion industry adopted it, the trade exploded and so did the poaching.

    "It is important that people realise what they are supporting when they buy shahtoosh. They are fuelling the poaching of endangered species and supporting organised crime."

    High in the mountains of Ladakh, on the border between Tibet and India, lie the most lucrative hunting grounds for the poachers. They slaughter the chiru with automatic weapons mounted on off-road vehicles.
    Those creatures that escape the bullets are caught in vicious leghold traps. The animals may remain there in agony for days before a hunter arrives to dispatch them. Poachers who lack guns often pursue the animals by motorbike until they die of exhaustion.

    Once the antelope are killed, their fleeces are torn from their bodies and a few ounces of wool plucked from their soft fleecy stomachs. Occasionally their horns are used in medicines. The rest of the body has no value except for the occasional meal for a poacher.

    Attempts have been made to farm chiru, but shearing the antelope proved impossible as the shahtoosh has to be plucked directly out of the animals' skin to be usable. It is also far, far easier to gun the animals down than to tend them. This has led to a free-for-all slaughter on an astonishing scale.

    Before shahtoosh became fashionable in the early 1990s, more than a million animals roamed the Tibetan plateau. Of these vast herds only about 75,000 antelope now remain, with an estimated 20,000 killed each year by poachers.
    Shahtoosh is so light and valuable that it has become almost a parallel currency in the Himalayas and is used to pay for guns, drugs and other illegal wildlife products.

    Thousands of pounds' worth can easily be hidden inside the lining of a jacket and smuggled over borders with only the slightest chance of being caught, and as such it has become a common 'currency' among crime gangs and terrorist groups, such as Kashmiri separatists.

    In particular, wildlife experts say that it is a key part of a complicated transaction that involves tiger bones being smuggled into China, via Tibet, where they can fetch huge prices as a black market medicine.

    In return, the smugglers are paid in shahtoosh to take back to India, where the market for the fine wool is booming.

    When the raw wool is smuggled into India from Tibet it has a street value of around 500 a pound. Trafficking tiger bones one way and shahtoosh the other earns the smugglers profit margins of 600per cent or more.

    As a result of this two-way trade, one tiger is killed in India every day. There are now only about 3,000 left in the whole of the sub-continent.
    "Every shahtoosh shawl has the blood of a tiger on it," says Belinda Wright of the Wildlife Protection Society of India.

    "Two species are being slaughtered for this shameless trade - the chiru and the tiger. Chirus are being killed in their thousands and the tiger pushed to the brink of extinction for the sake of fashion and the greed of a few ruthless wildlife criminals."

    The wool is eventually smuggled into the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, where it is woven into fabric.

    It is a highly-skilled process, as the fur fibres are only half an inch long and extremely difficult to handle.

    The shawls are then adorned with the season's most fashionable new patterns ready for sale.

    In a programme to be broadcast soon on the Animal Planet channel, undercover detective Steve Galster managed to track down a dealer to Dharamshala in northern India. He was selling the scarves for 500, a small fortune in India.
    These scarves would have been trafficked into Britain, America and Europe, where they would have fetched up to 15,000. Weight for weight, that makes the shawls more valuable than cocaine or gold.

    Even if smugglers are caught in the UK, the penalties for trading are pitifully low. One dealer was fined 1,500 for selling 138 shawls worth 350,000. That works out at less than 11 per shawl.

    Small wonder, then, that shahtoosh has become a significant part of the booming 6billion illegal wildlife trade. The trade as a whole is now the thirdlargest illegal activity after drug smuggling and gun running.

    In the UK, shahtoosh shawls are available if you have the money and the 'right' connections.

    A TV reporter was recently offered shawls for 3,000 apiece in London. They are also available on the internet.

    From time to time 'shahtoosh parties' are held where fashionistas meet to show off their shawls and buy the latest designs. Most will know full well where the wool for their scarves comes from, but they peddle a variety of lies so they appear less heartless.

    They claim that the wool is gathered-from bushes that the antelope use as scratching posts, or is plucked from the down of the mythical 'toosh' bird. They will never admit that they know three young antelope must die so they can wear a single shawl.

    The Metropolitan Police is aware of the parties, but has yet to make any arrests despite their best efforts. They are, after all, exclusive invitation-only events.
    "Some people just want something that they think is 'better' than the next person and they have an awful lot of money to spend on such things,' says Andy Fisher of the Metropolitan Police.

    "It does make you wonder what they're thinking of. There are enough exclusive, expensive items out there for them to buy. They do not have to drive a species to extinction."

    The Indian and Chinese authorities have belatedly started taking the trade seriously and begun to clamp down on it - mostly, it has to be said, because of the trade's links with organised crime.

    In August, the Indian police intercepted 57 shawls worth around 150,000 in Delhi. If convicted, the traffickers face up to seven years in jail.
    The Chinese, too, have been stepping up their efforts to stop the slaughter with systematic antipoaching patrols. Given that the chiru antelope is the mascot for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, it would be very embarrassing for them if they failed to protect one of their country's national symbols.

    The simple truth is that shahtoosh is so valuable that it is an almost irresistible source of money for poverty-stricken Tibetans. But the real driving force behind the trade is rich consumers in the developed world.

    "You just have to look at who's buying the shawls,' says Robbie Marsland, UK director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

    "Only the very rich can afford to buy these shawls. The demand from extravagant consumers has created a cruel and bloody trade, effectively signing a death sentence for these rare and beautiful animals."

    From: Wildlife Alliance, More from this Affiliate
    Published October 9, 2007 08:02 AM


  2. #2
    たのむよ。
    The Gentleman Scamp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Last Online
    03-01-2017 @ 04:09 PM
    Location
    もうがまんできない!
    Posts
    9,754
    Absolute cnuts - fur traders, they should be skinned alive and blasted with viegar and rock salt.

    I posted this link before but I for one have no wish to watch it again:


  3. #3

    R.I.P.


    dirtydog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Pattaya Jomtien
    Posts
    58,774
    Quote Originally Posted by English Noodles
    "It's a disgusting trade," says Trevor Pickett,
    Quote Originally Posted by English Noodles
    The rest of the body has no value except for the occasional meal for a poacher.
    At least they eat the rest of the animal, doubt Mr Trevor has ever gone hungry before.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Last Online
    07-02-2011 @ 03:00 PM
    Location
    denmark pattaya and buri ram
    Posts
    1,288
    skinn of animal have always been used for clothing to day polar foxes to make coats are raised in farms that is foxes and mink

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat
    Little Chuchok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Last Online
    Today @ 03:12 AM
    Posts
    9,520
    What about the widdle woolly lamb that is killed for wool and meat.Or leather from a bobby calve.eh??

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat
    mad_dog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Last Online
    10-05-2017 @ 11:52 AM
    Posts
    5,099
    Us Westerners grew rich by exploiting the natural resources of our lands. What hypocracy is it for us to write "international laws" stopping people from developing countries doing the same? The hunters are working to feed their families and better their lives in the pursuit of happiness. Demonising them is deplorable.
    They champion falsehood, support the butcher against the victim, the oppressor against the innocent child. May God mete them the punishment they deserve

  7. #7
    The Dentist English Noodles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Burning Down a Pikey Caravan
    Posts
    17,230
    Quote Originally Posted by mad_dog
    The hunters are working to feed their families and better their lives in the pursuit of happiness. Demonising them is deplorable
    You didnt read the article did you? Muppet!

  8. #8
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Last Online
    Today @ 04:51 AM
    Location
    Heidleberg
    Posts
    21,805
    such a cute and defenseless photo - lucky eh ?

  9. #9
    The Dentist English Noodles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Burning Down a Pikey Caravan
    Posts
    17,230
    ^I don't think the older ones (whats left of them) have much defence against machine guns either Baldrick.

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat
    mad_dog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Last Online
    10-05-2017 @ 11:52 AM
    Posts
    5,099
    Quote Originally Posted by English Noodles View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mad_dog
    The hunters are working to feed their families and better their lives in the pursuit of happiness. Demonising them is deplorable
    You didnt read the article did you? Muppet!
    No that isn't the case. The hunters are roled into one with terrorists, arms smugglers and an old bunch of questionable statistics and assertions. Lame.

  11. #11
    The Dentist English Noodles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Burning Down a Pikey Caravan
    Posts
    17,230
    ^What's lame about it? Present your argument so i can tear you a new one.

  12. #12
    RIP
    klongmaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Nonthaburi
    Posts
    4,382
    Good thread EN: thanks for taking the time to post it...

    I often watch Animal Planet but missed this particular program...



    Quote Originally Posted by English Noodles
    shahtoosh has a mystique like no other. Shahtoosh, which means 'king of wool' in Persian, is so fine, light and translucent that a shawl made from it will pass through a wedding ring.
    I bet it feels wonderful though...

  13. #13
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Roiet
    Posts
    30,516
    I watched the same program. Found it interesting myself. Being Canadian born, (the cute little seal killers), I have no particular qualms about the taking of animal furs. Unless one has been raised in an environment where animals are routinely killed/butchered, watching the killing of any animal is shocking and seems brutal but what must be remembered is that neatly wrapped piece of meat we routinely buy in our markets is the end product of killing an animal.

    The issue with the shahtoosh is the irresponsible and uncontrolled eradication of these animals to the point of extinction. The fur of the shahtoosh is obviously a highly valued item so aside from the domino effect total destruction of the animal will have on the ecological chain, they clearly represent an economic value to both the hunters and the nations in which they dwell. The shahtoosh, the hunters and the governments will lose all if responsible controls are not put in place. With reasonable conservation and population control management as has been put in place in many countries to protect their animal species, the shahtoosh will survive and flourish as a species and the economic benefits derived from their fur sustained.

    It is up to the locals to put the appropriate controls in place and IMO the international community should focus on incentives and conservation management assistance in showing locals the folly and short sightedness of their current behavior.
    Last edited by Norton; 10-03-2008 at 07:23 PM.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

  14. #14
    The Dentist English Noodles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Burning Down a Pikey Caravan
    Posts
    17,230
    Quote Originally Posted by Norton View Post
    I watched the same program. Found it interesting myself. Being Canadian born, (the cute little seal killers), I have no particular qualms about the taking of animal furs. Unless one has been raised in an environment where animals are routinely killed/butchered, watching the killing of any animal is shocking and seems brutal but what must be remembered is that neatly wrapped piece of meat we routinely buy in our markets is the end product of killing an animal. The issue here with the shahtoosh is the irresponsible and uncontrolled eradication of these animals to the point of extinction. The fur of the shahtoosh is obviously a highly valued item so aside from the domino effect total destruction of the animal will have on the ecological chain, they clearly represent an economic value to both the hunters and the nations in which they dwell. The shahtoosh, the hunters and the governments will lose all if responsible controls are not put in place. With reasonable conservation and population control management as has been put in place in many countries to protect their animal species, the shahtoosh will survive and flourish as a species and the economic benefits derived from their fur sustained. It is up to the locals to put the appropriate controls in place and IMO the international community should focus on incentives and conservation management assistance in showing locals the folly and short sightedness of their current behavior.
    Well said, the other problem is that the Shartoosh is also traded other things such as Tiger parts, drugs and weapons.

  15. #15
    RIP
    blackgang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Last Online
    08-07-2010 @ 08:33 PM
    Location
    Phetchabun city
    Posts
    15,471
    I am with you Nort, I ran a trap line when I was a kid, thats where my winter spending money came from, Lots of musk rats, they easy to catch,skin prepare for market and got about a 1 to 1.25$ per pelt, mink was harder to get, so never got many in a season but would go for $40 sometimes, beaver hardest of all, hard to trap, heavy to carry, pain in the ass to skin and stretch, but were good money [$20 to 60] but the most controled too.
    Coyotes were $5 plus bounty,
    House cats 15 to 25 cents, rabbits about a quarter,,shit everything was worth something.
    We killed most of our own meat, caught fish, thats the way it was and should still be in the mountains of the PNW, and Canada but to many people doing to much fucking and as long as fucking is more fun than dying there gonna be overpopulation and strange ways til they die off the planet.

  16. #16
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Roiet
    Posts
    30,516
    ^^You forgot the 2 cents for gopher tails but maybe in your neck of the woods you never had gophers.

  17. #17
    The cold, wet one
    November Rain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Last Online
    31-03-2015 @ 03:06 PM
    Location
    In my happy place
    Posts
    12,214
    Quote Originally Posted by English Noodles View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mad_dog
    The hunters are working to feed their families and better their lives in the pursuit of happiness. Demonising them is deplorable
    You didnt read the article did you? Muppet!
    Neither did I.

    I'm possibly (but willing to be proved wrong) the biggest animal rights advocate on here.

    I didn't read it, because the sentimental & over-emotive language put me off immediately. It's not that I don't care, it's that I respond better to factual journalism/reporting than puff-pieces. Come up with a factual report, rather than a 'Bambi's mother is going to get killed' tear jerker, EN & you might get a more favourable response.

  18. #18
    The Dentist English Noodles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Burning Down a Pikey Caravan
    Posts
    17,230
    Quote Originally Posted by November Rain
    Come up with a factual report, rather than a 'Bambi's mother is going to get killed' tear jerker, EN & you might get a more favourable response.
    Plenty of facts in there you arrogant fool.

  19. #19
    The cold, wet one
    November Rain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Last Online
    31-03-2015 @ 03:06 PM
    Location
    In my happy place
    Posts
    12,214
    ^ Maybe. But the arrogant fool didn't read it (I already said that) because she was put off by the sentimentality.

    Quote Originally Posted by English Noodles
    When the men first sighted the beautiful baby antelope in the moonlight, it was past three o'clock in the morning. The creatures were only a few hours old and still wobbling about on their spindly little legs. Mothers and grandmothers nuzzled them protectively. A single male stood guard, sniffing the air tentatively for any signs of danger. It was a beautiful, heart-warming sight that could easily have been taken from a David Attenborough documentary - but for what happened next. A group of six men in a four-wheel-drive truck slowly approached the herd. A rough-looking man lifted an ageing automatic rifle to his eye, took aim and fired. A pregnant antelope dropped to her knees and began twitching violently.
    How many un-needed adjectives can we scratch from that? Which is as much as I could stomach. Do we (or I, the arrogant fool) need to sift through the crap to find the facts?

    By the way, I get 7 or 8 overemotive adjectives, in that quote. But that's just the fool's opinion.

  20. #20
    The Dentist English Noodles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Burning Down a Pikey Caravan
    Posts
    17,230
    Quote Originally Posted by November Rain
    But that's just the fool's opinion.
    Indeed, and as such, not worth much.

  21. #21
    The cold, wet one
    November Rain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Last Online
    31-03-2015 @ 03:06 PM
    Location
    In my happy place
    Posts
    12,214
    ^ Absolutely.

    So, carry on peddling the Mills & Boon version. I wasn't even here.

  22. #22
    The Dentist English Noodles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Burning Down a Pikey Caravan
    Posts
    17,230
    ^No shit, like i never noticed

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •