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Panthera: Bone trade 'imperils' wild lions

By Mikail Baker, travel.iafrica.com

113 days ago   Article ID# 4071237
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Panthera

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA (travel.iafrica.com) - Wild cat conservation organisation Panthera has voiced its concern regarding the Department of Environmental Affairs’ decision to allow the export of 800 lion skeletons per year.

The DEA’s decision was made recently as part of a formalisation of South Africa’s captive lion breeding industry.

While proponents of the industry claim that it curbs lion poaching and discourages, Panthera says that it may be accelerating poaching in neighbouring countries. Furthermore, it suggests, there may now be an increased demand for wild lion remains in Asia.

“Recent anecdotal data and press reports from neighboring countries show an increase in lion killings for their bones and parts,” says the organisation.

The DEA has in the meantime invited the public to comment on the proposal. It emphasises that the export of lion bones will serve as a risk-averse poaching intervention, a view shared by TRAFFIC and CITES.

Experts cited by Panthera, however, assert that the export of lion remains has no basis in science, and will only serve to “further imperil wild lions”.

“It is confounding that a country whose iconic wild lions are such a source of national pride—not to mention tourist revenue—would take such risks to sustain a marginal captive breeding industry that is condemned globally,” says Panthera’s Dr Paul Funston.

“The legal farming of lions for tourists to bottle-feed, pet, and ultimately hunt in tiny enclosures is a stain on South Africa’s reputation as stewards of Africa’s wildlife.”

The DEA’s decision was made recently as part of a formalisation of South Africa’s captive lion breeding industry.

While proponents of the industry claim that it curbs lion poaching and discourages, Panthera says that it may be accelerating poaching in neighbouring countries. Furthermore, it suggests, there may now be an increased demand for wild lion remains in Asia.

“Recent anecdotal data and press reports from neighboring countries show an increase in lion killings for their bones and parts,” says the organisation.

The DEA has in the meantime invited the public to comment on the proposal. It emphasises that the export of lion bones will serve as a risk-averse poaching intervention, a view shared by TRAFFIC and CITES.

Experts cited by Panthera, however, assert that the export of lion remains has no basis in science, and will only serve to “further imperil wild lions”.

“It is confounding that a country whose iconic wild lions are such a source of national pride—not to mention tourist revenue—would take such risks to sustain a marginal captive breeding industry that is condemned globally,” says Panthera’s Dr Paul Funston.

“The legal farming of lions for tourists to bottle-feed, pet, and ultimately hunt in tiny enclosures is a stain on South Africa’s reputation as stewards of Africa’s wildlife.”

Copyright 2017 travel.iafrica.com   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 113 days ago   Article ID# 4071237

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