Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries

DECEASED, A HUMPBACK WHALE, ANOTHER VICTIM OF FISHING EQUIPMENT ENTANGLEMENT SOUTH AFRICA

OPEN LETTER

Honourable Minister Barbara Creecy

30th September 2020

WHALES CONTINUE TO SUFFER FROM HUMAN-INDUCED TRAUMA RESULTING FROM FISHING ENTANGLEMENTS IN SOUTH AFRICA

The EMS Foundation formally requested from the Honourable Minister Barbara Creecy, by means of a letter dated 07 September 2020[1], an immediate moratorium on the use of non-movable fishery devices due to multiple fatal whale entanglements. We have, unfortunately, yet to receive an answer, to our request. 

On the 23rd of September 2020 the death of a Humpback was recorded in Sardinia Bay, Nelson Mandela Bay. 

Dr Greg Hofmeyer, conducted the necroscopy on the whale. He concluded that a fishing line from a long-line fishing boat wrapped around and cut into the body of the mammal, eventually rendering the whale unable to swim or feed. Flesh grew and festered around the wound and the whale slowly died. “This animal was really badly injured and was probably floating for a number of months while being unable to feed, before eventually die of starvation.”[2]

Dr Hofmeyer also reported a further two incidents in his interview with SABC News. “On the same day that the whale came ashore we also found on the beach a White-chinned Petrel, a type of sea bird, also entangled in fishing gut, and a dolphin washed ashore with a series of parallel cuts on its back which could only have been caused by a vessel propeller.   Three animals have been killed here, directly because of human behaviour.”

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WHALE ENTANGLEMENTS AN URGENT REQUEST FOR IMMEDIATE MORATORIUM ON THE USE OF NON-MOVABLE FISHING DEVICES

OPEN LETTER

Honourable Minister Barbara Creecy

7th September 2020

The EMS Foundation hereby submits a formal request for an immediate moratorium on the use of non-movable fishing devices, which include, but are not limited to, crayfish traps.

We are extremely concerned by the documented accounts of whale fatalities in South African water which are a result of these devices.

In 2020, there have been four reported incidents of whale fatalities in the Western Cape alone. Moreover, of concern is that it is known that the majority of entanglements, which result in fatalities, are unreported.

PLEASE READ OUR FULL LETTER:

Image Credit: Overstrand Municipality

© 2020 EMS Foundation. All rights reserved

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PLUNDERED SOUTH AFRICA’S COLDBLOODED INTERNATIONAL REPTILE TRADE

INVESTIGATIVE REPORT AUGUST 2020

“Although exotic pets are technically alive, in terms of conservation they might as well be dead. Removed from nature, they no longer play any meaningful role for their species or ecosystem.”

– Rachel Love Nuwer

INTRODUCTION AND CONTEXT

Ban Animal Trading (BAT) and the EMS Foundation (EMS) have, over a number of years, been collecting information, doing fieldwork, undertaking research and analysing data on South Africa’s international and so-called ‘legal’ trade in live wild animals.

This report― ‘Plundered: South Africa’s cold-blooded international reptile trade’―is the third in The Extinction Business Series. The two previous reports examined South Africa’s lion bone trade1 and South Africa’s live wildlife trade with China. Both reports discuss in full how loopholes and ineffectual controls in the permit system, which includes CITES, are enabling international laundering and smuggling of live wildlife. The same applies to the global trade in live reptiles and amphibians, which is discussed below.

The international trade in the majority of reptiles, amphibians and arachnids is mostly unregulated, often unlawful and a growing industry in South Africa. Data on the trade in these species is unreliable and insufficient, because most countries do not keep records or compile data unless the species is listed on the CITES Appendices. Even then the data is incomplete. One reason for this is that, unlike so-called charismatic species such as lions, elephants, tigers and primates―perceived to have higher intrinsic value―reptiles, including species such as snakes, lizards, turtles, tortoises, alligators and crocodiles are, in terms of public perception, and often because of the negative stereotypes attached to them, considered less desirable creatures, lack the charismatic appeal of anthropomorphic species and consequently they are afforded less attention.

Reptiles also lack the repertoire of facial expressions and vocalizations that would alert keepers to their pain and distress. A sick, hurt, or chronically stressed reptile will suffer in silence. The suffering will often be far more prolonged than that experienced by mammals, due to reptiles’ slow metabolic rate. Blood loss and the healing of injuries are both relatively slow, as are the consequent risk of infection and further complications. Reptiles are among the most inhumanely treated animals in the pet trade. Because they often are cheap and easily replaceable, dealers, captive breeders, and retailers factor huge mortality into their operating costs.

PLEASE FIND THE FULL REPORT HERE:

THE EXTINCTION BUSINESS REPORT SERIES

Plundered: South Africa’s Cold-Blooded International Reptile Trade is Part 3 in the Ban Animal Trading an EMS Foundation, The Extinction Business Investigative Report Series. The purpose of this Series is to examine South Africa’s international wildlife trade.
South Africa’s Lion Bone Trade (2018) was Part 1 of the Series and can be found here: https://emsfoundation.org.za/wp-content/uploads/THE-EXTINCTION-BUSINESS-South-Africas-lion- bone-trade.pdf & https://bananimaltrading.org/attachments/article/209/The%20Extinction%20Business.pdf

Breaking Point: Uncovering South Africa’s Shameful Live Wildlife Trade with China (June 2020) was Part 2 of the Series and can be found here: https://emsfoundation.org.za/wp-content/uploads/BreakingPoint__FINAL_15052020_web.pdf & https://bananimaltrading.org/attachments/article/209/BreakingPoint__FINAL_15052020_web.pdf

LEGAL DISCLAIMER
The mention of any individual, company, organisation, or other entity in this report does not imply the violation of any law or international agreement, and should not be construed as such.

© 2020 Ban Animal Trading and EMS Foundation. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without permission in writing.

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PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE MEAT SAFETY ACT

30TH JUNE 2020

A JOINT SUBMISSION BY THE EMS FOUNDATION AND ANIMAL LAW REFORM SOUTH AFRICA

ADDRESSED TO:

Dr M. Molefe

Director: Veterinary Public Heath

Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development 

AND

 Minister of the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries

We, Animal Law Reform South Africa (“ALRSA”) and the EMS Foundation (“EMS Foundation”), welcome the opportunity to provide our comments and hereby do so in relation to the Proposed Amendments to the Meat Safety Act gazetted for public consultation on the 28th February 2020[1] (“Proposed Amendments”), as read with the: 

  1. Meat Safety Act 2000 Act;[2] (hereinafter the “Act”, the “MSA” or “Meat Safety Act”)
  2. Extension of the Commenting Period and Clarification of the Purpose of the Amendment to Schedule 1 of the Meat Safety Act, 2000 issued by National Executive Officer: Meat Safety Act on 30 April 2020[3] (hereinafter the “Clarificatory Notice”)
  3. and various other documents / information included in this Submission.

Kindly confirm receipt of this Submission (“Submission”) and address further correspondence to the email addresses: michele@emsfoundation.org.za and amywilson@animallawreform.org.

We look forward to receiving a response to the requests made herein and are available to engage on any queries, comments, concerns which you may have in respect of the Submission.


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SUBMISSION IN RESPECT OF DEFF HIGH LEVEL PANEL THE EMS FOUNDATION AND ANIMAL LAW REFORM SOUTH AFRICA

15TH JUNE 2020

MANAGEMENT, BREEDING, HUNTING, TRADE, HANDLING AND RELATED MATTERS: ELEPHANT, LION, LEOPARD AND RHINOCEROS

“IF WE DO NOT DO SOMETHING TO PREVENT IT, AFRICA’S ANIMALS AND THE PLACES IN WHICH THEY LIVE, WILL BE LOST TO OUR WORLD AND HER CHILDREN FOREVER” NELSON MANDELA

Disclaimers

Please note that this Submission is non-exhaustive and does not represent all the responses to the issues and matters raised herein. We reserve the right to provide any further or additional information on aspects raised herein.

We are submitting so as to be able to record our initial high-level views and resources; however, our Submission is by no means a complete one in relation to the topics, objections or matters that may be raised.

We wish to note upfront that we believe there are various issues with the contents, processes, and related matters in respect of the Panel generally, as well as the Call for Submission. Consequently, our Submission does not constitute a waiver of any rights we may have, including but not limited to challenging the Department, the High-Level Panel/ Advisory Committee or otherwise, or take any other action we deem fit in respect thereof.

Specifically, we believe that insufficient time and notice has been provided for us to provide complete comments. The entire process on this Call for Submissions has been done during a declared National State of Disaster and lockdown of the country. During this time, particularly as NGOs, we have experienced major strain on our resources and capacity to deal with matters.

The views expressed herein are those of the two organisations and do not necessarily represent those of every individual director, member, employee, representative, volunteer, affiliate or others of either EMS and/or ALRSA.

We have attempted to be as comprehensive as possible, given the time, resources and other relevant factors and constraints, however we may not have responded or included each and every relevant consideration. Accordingly, it should be noted that different persons have provided input and we have tried within these constraints to collate this input as effectively, consistently, and practicably as possible.

We have further attempted to reference as footnotes or hyperlink the resources relied upon for this submission. Should you require any further information in respect of these or the Submission more generally, we are happy to provide these.

We reserve any and all rights, remedies and actions available to us.

© 2020 EMS Foundation. All rights reserved.

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EMS Foundation

PO Box 3018, Honeydew 2040
South Africa
168-304 NPO

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info@emsfoundation.org.za

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