Lobbying for Wild Animals

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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RITA MILJO, REMEMBERING THE FEARLESS HEROINE OF BABOONS IN SOUTH AFRICA

“Why wait until a species is on the brink of extinction before we try to help”.

27th July 2020

Rita Miljo was the founder of The Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education C.A.R.E.

Rita Miljo was born in Litunaia, she moved to South Africa in the the 1950’s where she became a renowned conservation and animals rights pioneer.  

On the 27th July 2012 Rita Miljo tragically died in a fire which swept through her home and the sanctuary which is located on the banks of the Olifants River. 

The first baboon she rescued was called Bobby, they
were inseparable, he died in the fire with her; they were buried together according to her wishes.

 Her first group of rescued baboons were released back into the wild in 1994 confounding many skeptical professional primatologists.  

All in all, more than dozen troops totalling some 250 baboons were released back into wild during the last twenty years of Rita Miljo’s life. 

Incredibly, Rita Miljo had no formal scientific training, she was motivated to help animals for humanitarian reasons.

In 2002 Nelson Mandela was with her for a release of troop of baboons at Shambala Wildlife Reserve in Limpopo in South Africa. The image above is from that special time, with grateful thanks to the management of C.A.R.E.

Baboons are regarded as vermin in South Africa despite their high intelligence and social skils.  Baboons have long been shot and killed because people find them to be a nuisance.  At one time monetary rewards were offered for handing in a scalp and tail of baboons, it is still legal to shoot baboons in some instances.

Rita Miljo was repeatedly charged with transporting and keeping baboons without the correct permits. Her devotion to rescue, to rehabilitate and release baboons into the wild was much greater than her fear of the law. When provoked her answer was always the same: “Who are you to tell God that he should not have created baboons?”

The C.A.R.E Sanctuary was formally established in
1989 for primate conservation and rehabilitation and since then C.A.R.E.  has become a pioneer in the field of Chacma Baboons.

Stephen Munro, (BSc Animal Welfare) is the managing Director of C.A.R.E. and together with Samantha Dewhirst (MSc Primate Conservationist), they have formed a perfect partnership. Their combined a wealth of experience, expertise and knowledge and their dedication to primate rehabilitation and release the C.A.R.E. sanctuary is continuing to fulfil every one of Rita Miljo visions.

C.A.R.E. is also committed to educating local communities and tourists about the positive aspects of the co-existence of humans and wildlife.  They have partnered with many schools in the area and they provide field trips to the centre.

The EMS Foundation is a proud financial supporter of the C.A.R.E. sanctuary where they have four semi-wild enclosures, an environmental educational centre, outdoor classroom, offices quarantine facilities, a quarantine orphan nursery, bonding and integration enclosures, accommodation for students and volunteers, a veterinary clinic and an animal food prep kitchen. 

IMAGE CREDIT: C.A.R.E

https://www.primatecare.org

© 2020 EMS Foundation. All rights reserved.

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A LOOMING CRISIS – THE CAPTIVE BIG CAT INDUSTRY, COVID_19 AND GOVERNMENT CULPABILITY

An Open Letter to the Minister of the Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Barbara Creecy

25th March 2020

Dear Honourable Minister Creecy,

Since at least as far back as the late 1990s, various NGOs have warned your department about the harmful and negative effects of breeding lions (and other big cats) in captivity. Yet, the South African government has done nothing to slow the growth of the captive lion breeding industry, nor has it given any indication of wanting to do so. This letter lays bare the facts and calls for immediate action.

First, it details the risks embedded in captive lion (and other big cat) breeding and why the industry should be terminated.

Second, we note that letter after letter to your Ministry and Department goes unheeded. It seems that industry voices – those with a vested interest in acquiring short-term benefits from exploitative breeding of lion (and other big cat) cubs for human interaction, canned hunting and the lion bone trade – provide the tune to which the policy fiddle dances.

Finally, tourism – the goose that lays the golden egg in the South African economy – is dead for the foreseeable future. Not only has South Africa’s willingness to supply Asian wildlife markets created zoonotic disease spillover risks, which have led to the need for travel bans, but the imposition of the latter means that thousands of captive lions (and other big cats) will now be left to starve to death without tourism dollars. Had the government acted in 2009 (when a plan was presented to your Department) and when there were far fewer lions (and other big cats) in captivity, this catastrophe would have been avoided.

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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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