Breaking! In An Abhorrent Move, South Africa Nearly Doubles 2018 Lion Bone Export Quota To 1,500 Skeletons

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WAN was horrified to learn the news this morning that the 2018 quota of lion skeletons allowed to be exported from South Africa has reached 1,500.

Unbeknownst to most people, the staggering new quota which almost doubled from the 800 from last year, went into effect on June 7th. Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) Minister Dr. Edna Molewa made the announcement yesterday.

As noted by Animal Defenders International, South Africa has been allowed to set its own quota for captive lion body parts following a disastrous compromise deal that was struck at the 2016 CITES conference.

The recent decision to increase the quota was made following the results of a study that reportedly determined that while there was not a noticeable increase in the poaching of wild lions in the country, there was a rise in the amount of captive- bred lions that were senselessly killed to supply the demand for their parts.

“If there is an ongoing demand for lion bone and the supply from captive breeding facilities is restricted, dealers may seek alternative sources, either through illegal access to stockpiles or by poaching both captive-bred and wild lion,” Albi Modise, a spokesperson for the environmental affairs department stated yesterday, as per News24. “South Africa has learned through its experience with rhino poaching that these illegal supply chains are very difficult to disband once they become established and seeks to avoid such a scenario materializing.”

Really? They don’t want to be bothered by trying to stop these difficult to disband supply chains?

Here are some ideas: How about stopping the demand for wildlife parts by banning their sales and export? How about not holding any animals’ captive that were born to roam free in the wild? How about the government works to find a solution to end this tragic industry and every facet that enables it to operate and unfairly prosper?

The DEA said the quota was based on new evidence from a research project by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the universities of Witwatersrand (Wits)‚ Oxford and Kent‚ which analyze and monitor the lion bone trade in South Africa.

Numerous animal welfare and conservations question the government’s response to the updated data; many having done research of their own.

“Acknowledged by the government in their statement, in the last two years Animal Defenders International (ADI) has charted a rise in captive lion poaching incidents, including two of our rescued lions, Jose and Liso, who were killed by poachers last year in Limpopo, the epicenter of activity,” ADI noted in a statement on its website. “With the government facilitating and allowing such a huge increase in lion bone exports, it is clear that their actions are fueling both the legal and illegal trade.

We are requesting the ‘new evidence’ the 2018 quota was purportedly based on and need you to SPEAK OUT.”

AWI is urging people to email Mr. Mpho Tjian at mtjiane@environment.gov.za today, demanding an end to lion bone exports from South Africa.

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