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GUIDELINES FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF LIVE ANIMALS BY SEA

© 2021 EMS Foundation. All rights reserved

The EMS Foundation, represented by Environmental lawyers Cullinan and Associates, submitted comments on the Draft Guidelines for the Transportation of Live Animals by Sea to the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development in South Africa on the 30th April 2021.

The position of the EMS Foundation is that South Africa should ban the live export of animals by sea (“live exports”) due to the nature of this mode of transportation, the exportations cannot be regulated to ensure that the welfare of animals can be protected during such a process.

Consequently, the EMS Foundation is of the view that neither regulations nor the Guidelines will be able to achieve the purpose which the Guideline purportedly aim to achieve.

Image Credit: Trevor Collens/AAP Published in The Guardian

© 2021 EMS Foundation. All rights reserved

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RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE US FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE CoP19 RESOLUTION CONSIDERATIONS

© 2021 EMS Foundation. All rights reserved

COPY OF THE ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION 2ND MAY 2021

The nineteenth regular meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP19) is tentatively scheduled to be held in Costa Rica March 3rd-14th 2022. The US Fish and Wildlife Service invited submissions to include information and recommendations on animal and plant species for which the United States should consider submitting proposals to amend Appendices l and Appendices ll of CITES at CoP19.

The EMS Foundation has exposed deficiencies in the legal wildlife trade and has published the same in a number of reports after completing exhaustive research.

The relevant South African and American government agencies are allegedly conducting their own investigations as a result of the findings of these reports.

The World Health Organisation, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the United Nations Environment Programme have recently made an unprecedented call to governments and national authorities asking them “to suspend the trade in live caught wild animal of mammalian species for food or breeding purposes and to close sections of food markets selling live caught wild animals species as an emergency measure.

© 2021 EMS Foundation. All rights reserved

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EARTH DAY 2021 HOW MANY ASIAN TIGERS ARE IN CAPTIVITY IN SOUTH AFRICA

EMS FOUNDATION COPY OF OPEN LETTER TO MINISTER CREECY

22ND APRIL 2021

Tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) are included in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which assembles 183 Parties, including South Africa.

On several occasions since early 2016 we had been asking your Department (DFFE) if it knew the number of Asian tigers in South Africa and if they monitor and audit the facilities in South Africa that keep Asian Big Cats. They continuously and consistently replied that they do not have any information as tigers are ‘exotics’ and therefore not their responsibility. This despite the fact that they are CITES Appendix I animals.

In 2016 CITES Decision 17.229 forewarned the Parties that the Secretariat was going to conduct a review of the number of facilities keeping Asian big cats in captivity in the territories of Parties and the number of Asian big cats kept in these facilities; and to review legal and illegal trade in Asian big cats from or through such facilities to identify any facilities which may be of concern.

On the 16th February 2018 we became aware that the CITES Secretariat has issued a Notification to the Parties to seek such information from the Parties, we emailed your department on the same day asking if they had this information available and the reply was, “we will be communicating with Secretariat on how we will deal with this matter as you can appreciate that there are 9 Provinces in South Africa and we have to coordinate the information”. On the 28th February 2018, together with Ban Animal Trading, we sent a letter to the CITES Secretariat in relation to Decision 17.229. Appended to our 2018 letter to CITES was a non-exhaustive list of 66 facilities/individuals keeping tigers in South Africa that we were able to trace as a result of internet searches and on-site investigations.

According to DFFE, in response to an EMS Foundation Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) request1 there are 72 facilities/individuals keeping 451 Asian big cats in captivity.2 

This information has not been independently verified. Nonetheless, it is clear that South Africa is allowing intensive operations breeding tigers on a commercial scale.

The increasing trade in tigers and tiger parts is part of the unsustainable growth in the legal global wildlife trade. The The commercial flow of captive-bred tigers is largely driven by the increasing demand for live tigers and tiger parts and derivatives from Asia. This demand is therefore one of the most important factors for the current high levels of tiger poaching, captive breeding, and trafficking. Any trade in captive-bred specimens from South Africa is having an indirect but significant impact on tiger species whose populations are already depleted. In addition, allowing such trade obstructs global anti-poaching and trafficking endeavours.

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CONCERN FOR THE ANIMALS AT THE NATIONAL ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS

Honourable Minister Barbara Creecy
Minister of Fisheries, Forestry and Environment

12 April 2021


Dear Honourable Minister Creecy,

The EMS Foundation Concern for the Animals at the National Zoological Gardens

On Sunday 11th of April 2021, the EMS Foundation received messages, and was repeatedly tagged on various social media platforms, from concerned South African citizens about the conditions at the National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria (NZG).

The subject matter of the initial social media post is concern for the animals at the NZG, in particular the lack of water in the cages and the total disrepair of the zoo. We append below, screenshots of the social media posts. For your record:

At 17:27pm the post written by a person by the name of Therese de Lange about the Pretoria zoo had received 200 comments and had been shared on Facebook 1995 times.

At 19.09pm the post about the Pretoria zoo had received 2919 shares.

Today at 7.42am the post about the Pretoria zoo had received 5733 shares.

 A secondary post written by Abel Vilakaze in which he included 94 other people appeared on Facebook. At 07.31am this morning this post was shared 232 times.

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THE SOUTH AFRICAN CLIMATE JUSTICE CHARTER

HUMAN RIGHTS DAY 2021

EMS FOUNDATION PUBLIC STATEMENT

If the world wants to avoid a climate catastrophe, countries need to put into place policies and actions now that will produce deeper impacts, longer-term results, and systematic changes. 

The South African climate justice movement which included the Co-Operative and Policy Alternative Centre (COPAC) and the South African Food Sovereignty Campaign and other civil organisations engaged in a process to develop a Climate Justice Charter for South Africa.  

“South Africa has to become a climate justice state that recognises the climate emergency, whilst strengthening our democracy.  It has to be guided by the vision, goals, principles and people-led systematic alternatives contained in a Charter and all its climate policies must be aligned to realise this Charter.”

On the 28th of August 2020 a new Climate Justice Charter was adopted by a number of environmental organisations, including the EMS Foundation.  On the 16th of October 2020 the Climate Justice Charter Movement handed over the Charter to the Parliament of South Africa demanding that it be adopted as per Section 234 of the South African Constitution. 

The Charter calls for climate justice by transforming our work environments, our communities and our political power structures.

The EMS Foundation will continue to highlight and report on issues pertaining to the importance of protecting the South African natural environment and the democratic rights of all South Africans. 

In order to commemorate Human Rights Day 2021, the EMS Foundation would like to acknowledge two South African environmental activists who have been assassinated during their campaigns highlighting the negative aspects of mining in their communities. 

Sikhosiphi Rhadebe, chairperson of the Amadiba Crisis Committee was assassinated on the 22nd of March 2016.  His campaign highlighted two major mining projects  in Xolobeni in the Pondoland region of the Eastern Cape.  Sikhosiphi Rhadebe was gunned down outside his home in the Lurholweni township in Mbizana.  A community leader, father and founder of a soccer club for unemployed youngsters.  Seventy families were at risk of being evicted from their ancestral land if these developments went ahead. 

Fikile Ntshangase, was gunned down on the 22n October 2020 at her home in Ophondweni near Mtubatuba in KwaZulu Natal.  Fikile Ntshangase was the vice-chairperson of a sub-committee of the Mfolozi Community Environmental Justice Organisation opposed to an open mine on the border of the iMfolozi-Hluhluwe Game Reserve in northern KwaZulu Natal.   She was lobbying for the protection of the community’s rights to a safe and clean environment.  

The EMS Foundation is extremely concerned by the fact that it is clearly not safe to exercise our fundamental human rights in defence of our environment in South Africa.  Furthermore, we are devastated to learn that no arrests have been made in either of these assassinations. 

© 2021 EMS Foundation. All rights reserved

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