Samantha Fox gets ministerial pledge on tigers campaign

Minister Jeremy Browne tells Sam Fox he will raise her concerns over tigers

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Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne has agreed to raise with China the issue of its treatment of tigers.

His pledge came after the model-turned-pop star Samantha Fox asked him to act during the BBC's Daily Politics show.

She said there were only 3,000 tigers left in the wild and said that in China, despite a ban, tiger skins and parts from "tiger farms" were traded.

Mr Browne praised China's conservation efforts with pandas and said: "Let me raise it with the Chinese again."

Ms Fox has just helped launch a major new part of the TigerTime campaign, saying they need funding for anti-poaching teams and to improve education and raise awareness.

Mr Browne said, after being handed pictures by Ms Fox which she said were of tiger farms: "They are such amazing and beautiful animals and the numbers left are so few.

"Let me raise it with the Chinese again... you don't have to be British or Chinese, or any other nationality, to recognise the amazing beauty of these animals."

He said that internationally there were a number of animal welfare issues, such as with bears and whales, and said the UK did try to put pressure on countries but in a way that is "not hectoring people in a way that can be counter-productive, so we will try and do what we can".

The trade in tiger parts is illegal but still takes place in some parts of the world. The animal's wild habitat is also being destroyed and the risk is growing that wild tigers could become extinct in the next 20 years or so.

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