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Indaba of Experts concludes that Elephants should not be in Captivity

Chairperson’s Summary Report and Recommendations

On 6 September 2019, the EMS Foundation, convened an international Indaba and Panel Discussion with national and international elephant behavioural specialists in Hermanus, Western Cape, South Africa, to discuss the issue of elephants in captivity and to develop a framework as well as policy guidelines for dealing with elephants in captivity.

The Indaba was the first consultative gathering of elephant specialists and elephant interest groups in Africa specifically dealing with elephants in captivity, the role Africa has in sending elephants into captivity and what we need to do to get them out of the metaphorical room.

In order to enable frank exploration of the issues and practical proposals, the Indaba was conducted under the Chatham House Rule and with a number of “ground rules” which aimed to ensure open, respectful dialogue, and maximum participation.

The overwhelming message was that elephants belong in the wild and must be returned to the wild in all cases where this is a legitimate possibility. Given whatwe know about who elephants are and the conditions under which they thrive, thereis no reason to keep them in captivity.

This Summary Report, which has been prepared by the overall Chairperson (Dr Don Pinnock) of the Indaba together with the Rapporteur (Dr Ross Harvey), provides a brief overview of the themes discussed and its outcomes, and is in no way reflective of all views articulated during the meeting.

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Alleged Smuggling of Lion Bones Called “Legal” by Minister’s Spokesperson

Media Release from Members Of The Wildlife Animal Protection Forum South Africa (WAPFSA)

The recent news release of 342 kg of lion bones discovered on an outbound flight at OR Tambo Airport on 1st October 2019 which was subsequentially confiscated, has had extensive media coverage.

The comment from the Director of Communications at the Department of Environmental Affairs, Albi Modise was that “although the export of lion bones born in captivity was legal, a special permit was required to send them out.” This statement was reported by a number of media outlets, including World News, The Straits Times, BBC News, EWN, MSN, Business Standard, 7D News, and This is Money UK, Getaway, Jacaranda FM, and NST.

The export of lion bones from South Africa is currently illegal. In order to be legal, a yearly quota is supposed to be proposed by the South African Scientific Authority including the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) through the National Convention on the international Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Management Authority, then approved and communicated to all provincial conservation departments and managed at National level under the authority of the Minister of Forestry and Fishery and Environmental Affairs, Barbara Creecy.

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Compatibility of Trophy Hunting as a Form of Sustainable Use with IUCN’s Objectives

This report was posted on the IUCN website on Friday 27th September 2019 but was subsequently removed with no explanation.

The report aims for assisting IUCN to clarify the ethical acceptability of trophy hunting according to current IUCN statutes and policies and consistent with generally accepted methodologies of social and environmental ethics. There has been considerable debate around the morality of trophy hunting in the general public including the international conservation movement, and within the IUCN.

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Elephants in Captivity Under the Spotlight: Taking Elephants out of the Room

ln Hermanus on 6 September, at the Municipal Auditorium, elephant specialists from around Africa and the world participated in a conference, Taking Elephants out of the Room, to begin the process of dealing with issues of their captivity, welfare and the ethics of confining these sentient creatures. The aim was to create a framework within which to assess the ‘imprisonment’ of captive elephants and to set standards for their ethical treatment.

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No governance, no science and no sustainability in South Africa’s captive lion breeding industry

It has been clear for a long time that – to put it euphemistically – there has been a catastrophic absence of governance in South Africa’s captive lion breeding industry. The national Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) is tone-deaf to the global scientific community’s abhorrence of the industry. A strong indicator of zero governance is that DEFF repeatedly says that it does not know how many lions are in captivity in South Africa and how many facilities are involved in the various immoral activities associated with the industry (such as unregulated slaughter for the lion bone market). For this reason, in May 2019 the EMS Foundation submitted a request under the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), no. 2 of 2000 to get an answer to these questions.

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EMS Foundation

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

Contact Us

Michele Pickover (Director)
info@emsfoundation.org.za

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