More than 10 tigers were slaughtered and then served up as food for the entertainment of wealthy businessmen and officials in China, state media has reported.
Sixteen members of a gang believed to have been behind the killings have been arrested, the Nanfang Daily writes.
More than 10 tigers are believed to have been slaughtered by the gang
It adds the spectacle of watching the big cats being killed then cooked and eaten is popular among wealthy businessmen and government officials.
“The tigers were probably anaesthetised for transport. But buyers would check them to make sure that they were alive before the killing,” an unnamed source said.
A freshly slaughtered tiger and multiple tiger products were seized in the raid. Big cat related merchandise is popular in China, including tonic wines made from tiger bones and the use of the animals' penises in traditional medicine.
Footage of a killing two years ago revealed a tiger in a cage having an electrified iron mass prodded into its mouth with a wooden stick and passing out after being electrocuted for more than ten seconds.
"It takes a sick person to take pleasure in watching the barbaric killing of animals before consuming their flesh.
"But let's not limit our outrage to the slaughter of tigers, as more than a billion equally sensitive and wonderful animals are killed and eaten in the UK alone every year – and typically, they are raised and butchered in abysmally cruel ways."
The tiger is one of the most endangered of all cats with as few as 3,200 of them remaining in the wild.