Big Cats

EXTINCTION BUSINESS REPORT USED IN EVIDENCE IN HIGH COURT OF SOUTH AFRICA

In July of 2018 the EMS Foundation and Ban Animal Trading published a Report called the Extinction Business – South Africa’s Lion Bone Trade. In 2017 the South African Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, controversially and in the face of vociferous opposition and robust argument against this trade, set the annual export quota at 800 lion skeletons per year. Even more alarmingly, Molewa, without stakeholder participation, took the incomprehensible decision to almost double the quota in 2018 to 1500 skeletons.

The EMS Foundation and Ban Animal Trading gathered extensive information whilst investigating South Africa’s big cat industry and South Africa’s Lion Bone Trade which resulted in this Report.

The evidence in this report was used, amongst other, in a South African High Court matter detailed below.

In the Matter Between the NSPCA and the Minister of Environmental Affairs, The South African Predator Association, the MEC Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, MEC Department of Economic Development, Environment, Conservation and Tourism North West Province, MEC Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Gauteng Province and the MEC Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Free State Province Case Number: 86515/17

SUBJECT MATTER: THE SOUTH AFRICAN LION BONE TRADE

Page 239 – 415

©The EMS Foundation 2021. All Rights Reserved.

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EMS FOUNDATION AND WILD LAW INSTITUTE COMMENTS ON DFFE DRAFT POLICY POSITION 28TH JULY 2021

28TH JULY 2021

THE CONSERVATION AND ECOLOGICALLY SUSTAINABLE USE OF ELEPHANT, LION, LEOPARD AND RHINOCEROS

Please read the full submission:

Concluding Comments of the EMS Foundation and Wild Law Institute DFFE Submission:

Humanity has overstepped the planetary boundary in respect of biological diversity and consequently has entered a “danger zone” where it will be negatively affected by sudden events (e.g. pandemics) and irreversible changes. Part of the reason is that we have collectively failed to value the ecological systems (and the individuals that comprise them) on which our survival ultimately depends.

Instead of conserving that which has been entrusted to us, we have over-exploited terrestrial and marine ecosystems. The trade, sale and hunting of South Africa’s wild animals is driven by commodification, commercialisation and profit rather than by robust science, ethics or compassion. The threats wild animals are facing are powerfully linked to South Africa’s current conservation policies of consumptive use and inadequate policing and enforcement measures. A fundamental paradigm shift is required if we are to stem the rapid decline in biodiversity.

We are of the view that a new approach to human beings’ relationship with nature is not only warranted, but is absolutely critical. Current legal frameworks are not succeeding in stemming the tide of rapid biodiversity decline. What is required is a complete overhaul of the legal and administrative system, and a change in the relationship between people and Nature. It is with this paradigm shift in mind that the Draft Policy must be developed.

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A HOLISTIC FRAMEWORK TO RESOLVE HUMAN AND WILDLIFE ISSUES IN THE CAPTIVE BIG CAT SECTOR

LETTER TO MINSTER BARBARA CREECY, DEPARTMENT FORESTRY, FISHERIES AND THE ENVIRONMENT, 19th JULY 2021

The EMS Foundation commends the Honourable Minister for her commitment to ending inhumane and irresponsible practices in the wildlife industry which greatly harm the reputation of South Africa and to ending the captive lion industry so that South Africa does not captive breed lions, keep lions in captivity, or use captive lions or their derivatives commercially.

Furthermore, the EMS Foundation applauds the Honourable Minister for meeting with animal welfare and animal protection advocacy groups on the 17th June 2021 and the resulting discussion.

The EMS Foundation notes the call for comments on the draft policy position on the conservation and ecologically sustainable use of elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros, gazetted on 28th June 2021.

The EMS Foundation notes with concern violations of workers’ rights and job security issues in the captive wildlife sector.

The EMS Foundation notes that recent research shows the highly racialised and discriminatory practices in the wildlife industry (1) as well as the exploitation of poor black workers who often have to deal with wild animals with very little safety and minimal pay. (2)

There are dangers to marginalised and exploited workers involved in the industry and in the slaughter for meat or bones.(3)  Generally the wildlife industry violates the rights of farm workers who are disproportionally exposed to risks while living and working with dangerous animals like lions. In addition, generally these workers do not receive employment benefits, such as medical insurance nor do they have the means to protect themselves from harm, disability or death.(4)

READ THE FULL LETTER:

References:

(1) Nomalanga Mkhize ‘Game farm conversions and the land question: Unpacking present contradictions and historical continuities in farm dwellers’ tenure insecurity in Cradock’ (2014) 32 Journal of Contemporary African Society 207-219; Femke Brandt and Marja Spierenburg ‘Game fences in the Karoo: Reconfiguring spatial and social relations’ (2014) Journal of Contemporary African Society 1- 18.

(2) Femke Brandt ‘Trophy hunting in South Africa: Risky business for whom’ Daily Maverick (17 Nov 2015) available at http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2015-11-17-trophy-hunting-in-south-africa-risky-business-for- whom/?utm_source=Daily+Maverick+Mailer#.VqCRDLZ97IV.


(3) Peet Van Der Merwe et al., “The Economic Significance of Lion Breeding Operations in the South African Wildlife Industry,” International Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation 9, no. 11 (2017): 314–22, https://doi.org/10.5897/IJBC2017.1103.

(4) Femke Brandt Trophy Hunting in South Africa: Risky Business for Whom? DAILY MAVERICK (17 Nov 2015)

IMAGE CREDIT: Richard Smith / Alamy Stock Photo

©The EMS Foundation 2021. All Rights Reserved.

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TRADING IN MISERY SOUTH AFRICA’S RECENT LION EXPORTS

STATEMENT 15TH JULY 2021

The EMS Foundation has obtained official information from the South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment via the Promotion of Access to Information Act also known as PAIA about lion exports from the Oliver Tambo International’s Airport situated in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The detailed and specific information contained in this document illustrates the magnitude of this South African industry over a very specific time frame.

Please read the full document:

SOUTH AFRICAN TROPHY HUNTED WILD AND CAPTIVE LIONS

Each year hundreds of thousands of wild animals are killed by trophy hunters.

The true meaning of the word trophy is a memorial of a victory in war, consisting of spoils taken from the enemy as a token of victory and power.

Trophy hunters kill wild animals for their body parts, including heads, skins, claws and in some instances the whole animal.

In South Africa international trophy hunters hunt wild and captive bred lion.

Between August 2018 and the 7th of April 2021, 80 wild lion body part shipments were exported from South Africa.

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SOUTH AFRICAN LION BREEDERS EXPORT LION CUB PETTING INDUSTRY TO IRAQ

COPY OF OPEN LETTER ADDRESSED TO MINISTER BARBARA CREECY

TUESDAY 6TH JULY 2021

On the 2nd of May 2021 Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment, Barbara Creecy, released the report from the High Level Panel (HLP) of experts, which was appointed in 2019, to review policies, regulatory measures, practices and policy positions that relate to the hunting, trade, captive keeping, management and handling of elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros in South Africa.

The decision to appoint a panel of experts was taken as a result of the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs Colloquium that was held in Parliament in August 2018 on Captive Lion Breeding. Parliament adopted the findings of Portfolio Committee Report whose overall view was that the captive lion breeding industry did not contribute to conservation and was doing damage to South Africa’s conservation and tourism reputation.

The High Level Panel of Experts was asked to review the lion breeding industry, the rhino horn trade, rhino poaching, the elephant ivory trade, trophy hunting, the trade in leopard skins for religious and traditional use.

The HLP submitted a 600-page report to Minister Creecy and to the Cabinet in December 2020. This report was duly accepted and approved for release and implementation.

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