Lobbying for Wild Animals

Hunting in the Associated Private Nature Reserves

Call for Moratorium on hunting in the APNR

The purpose of this letter is request an urgent undertaking from SANParks that it will not sign a new agreement between themselves and the Associated Private Nature Reserves (APNR) until the process that the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs directed SANParks to follow, has been completed, and that a moratorium on hunting in the area should be imposed in the interim.

Read full letter

Appeal for Moratorium on lion hunting

Following upon Parliament’s announcement that there would be a Review Process of the agreements between SANParks and the APNR, we call for a Moratorium on all killing of lions in this region, to ensure that this Review Process is followed without undue influences.

Read full appeal here

Elephant Norms and Standards

Comments on Draft Norms and Standards for the Management of Elephants in South Africa.

Elephants are highly intelligent, sensitive and social creatures that have their own intrinsic worth, a worth that needs to be protected. They further have immeasurable value to our country, its people, our heritage and future generations. They have complex social systems and qualities beyond our understanding. There is various scientific research in this regard.

The two highest courts in our country have both recognised the importance of animals. Our Constitutional Court indicated that animals have intrinsic value as individuals.

Read full submission

SA Parliament hits out at Captive Lion Breeding & the Lion Bone Trade

In a move to hold the wayward Department of Environmental Affairs to account, and signalling the beginning of the end of the captive and canned lion industry in South Africa, the official Parliamentary Committee on Environmental Affairs Report and Recommendations on the Captive Lion industry in South Africa has been published.

The full report is the Portfolio Committee’s Report Resolutions and Recommendations, which will then be considered by the National Assembly and ultimately Cabinet.

The Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs having conducted the “Colloquium on Captive Lion Breeding for Hunting in South Africa: Harming or promoting the Conservation Image of the Country”, held on 21 and 22 August 2018.

Read the full report

Read the full Parliament of the RSA release – Announcements, Tablings and Committee reports which can be found at Parliament’s website.

Rhino Horn Trade

EMS Foundation, BAT and Animal Law Reform objections to draft regulations on rhino horn trade

The EMS Foundation and Ban Animal Trading submitted detailed comments on 10 March 2017 on
“DEA Notice 74 of 2017 On Draft Regulations for the Domestic Trade in Rhinoceros Horn, or Part,
Product or Derivative of Rhinoceros Horn” (“2017 Draft Regulations”). Animal Law Reform South
Africa supports these submissions.

We have not re-iterated all of the concerns and comments relating to the 2017 Draft Regulations
herein but wish to affirm our stance relating to these regulations insofar as they apply to the

Read the full submission

EMS Foundation & BAT objections to draft regulations on rhino horn trade
The proposed regulations have come as a shock to the local and international community and the adoption of these regulations will not only turn South Africa into a pariah State but it will lose any credibility in the conservation and enforcement arena.
Read the full document

Appeal to President Cyril Ramaphosa for Urgent Major Actions Against the Criminal Rhino Horn Syndicates
We respectfully urge you to publicly denounce the syndicates responsible for South Africa’s rhino poaching crisis and allocate adequate resources to investigate and prosecute these criminals to the full extent of the law. By taking swift action South Africa can overcome the immense challenges threatening the continued survival of the rhino and once again save this species from the brink of extinction.
Read the full letter

Wildlife Abuse


A letter was submitted on behalf of 19 organisations regarding the birth of 2 cubs through artificial insemination at a captive facility outside Johannesburg in collaboration with the Mammal Research Institute (University of Pretoria). This submission includes some of the world’s leading lion conservation and research organisations, and representatives from multiple sectors including animal welfare, animal protection, multi-cultural and faith-based NGO’s. Based on our cumulative knowledge and experience, we do not support the captive breeding of lions, whether assisted or not, because it does not contribute to biodiversity conservation or address the main threats to wild lion conservation.

Read the full submission

Wildlife Trafficking

Lion Bone Trade

THE EXTINCTION BUSINESS – South Africa’s ‘Lion’ Bone Trade

In the last 18 months, the EMS Foundation and Ban Animal Trading have been gathering extensive information and investigating South Africa’s international ‘lion’ bone trade. This data has provided the basis of our Report.

Read the full report

Appendix One: Big Cat Skeleton Exports 2014-2017 – Mindmap

Appendix Two: South African Skeleton Traders 2014-2017

Appendix Three: Foreign Skeleton Importers 2014-2017

Submission From BAT & EMS Foundation re DEA Proposed Lion Bone Quota
EMS Foundation, Captured in Africa Foundation, and global conservation groups call on South Africa to halt all captive-bred exports pending outcome of robust studies.
Read the full submission

South Africa suggests new export quota for captive -bred lion skeletons, putting wild lions at risk and supporting the canned lion industry
EMS Foundation, Captured in Africa Foundation, and global conservation groups call on South Africa to halt all captive-bred exports pending outcome of robust studies.
Read the full press release

DEA Lion Bone Quota Sign On Letter January 2017
We therefore strongly urge the South Africa government to develop a plan that will explain how each of these implementation and enforcement challenges will be addressed, prior to the captive-bred lion skeleton export quota going into effect.
Read the full letter

DAILY MAVERICK – Op Ed: Permission to drink a lion
There is something extremely bizarre about drinking a lion. But maybe in this world of post-truth it’s a new normal. After all, the cruelty we do to creatures in factory farms comes to us with no conscience, wrapped in plastic and labelled farm fresh. Every time we buy an egg or a steak or chicken breast we conspire in a little lie that it’s okay, says Don  Pinnock.
Read the full article on the Daily Maverick

Lion bone export quota in SA ‘a done deal’
The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) is on Tuesday poised to officially announce a government-approved annual export quota of 800 lion bone skeletons, despite worldwide revulsion and opposition to South Africa’s captive lion breeding and canned hunting industries.
Read the full article on news24.com

DEA ‘ignores’ concerns over lion bone trade
The South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has blatantly ignored public opinion by formally approving the export of 800 lion skeletons to Asia this year. This in spite of  international condemnation from conservationists and local stakeholders.
Read the full article on travel.iafrica.com

Illegal trade in tigers & tiger parts

Call for Thai Government to revoke zoo licence for business behind notorious Tiger Temple
A total of 28 NGOs have today (5 March 2018) called on the Government of Thailand to revoke a zoo licence for the business behind the infamous Tiger Temple. The Tiger Temple – a tourist attraction and captive tiger facility notorious for tourist ‘tiger selfies’ – has been repeatedly implicated in illegal trade in tiger parts, as covered in a report by EIA, Education for Nature Vietnam and Wildlife Friends Foundation of Thailand, Cultivating Demand.
Read the full article on the Environmental Investigation Association website

Sign-on Letter issued to Thai authorities re. Tiger Temple
Fewer than 4,000 wild tigers survive worldwide, and poaching for trade continues to threaten their existence. To combat this threat, the demand for tigers, including from captive sources, must be eliminated. As an essential aspect of such efforts, those responsible for illegal tiger trade must face serious consequences.
Read the full letter

Letter regarding the prosecution of Nguyen Mau Chien 
On behalf of the undersigned organisations, we are writing to congratulate you on your government’s commitment to tackle wildlife trafficking. This has been demonstrated by the landmark investigation and enforcement effort that has led to the upcoming first-instance trial of Nguyen Mau Chien and his associates Nguyen Van Tung, Nguyen Mau Thuan and Le Thi Hong. Nguyen Mau Chien is a key player in a network suspected of engaging in illegal trade in tigers and other wildlife on a global scale.
Read the full letter

Facilities (Farms And Individuals) Keeping And Breeding Asian Big Cats In Captivity In South Africa: Under Decision 17.229
Our research has shown that the industry is growing as there are more facilities and more tigers. Our research clearly shows that inbreeding is rampant and given the lack of regulation or control by South African authorities and the intersecting demand for tigers in Southeast Asia, tigers are facing obvious exploitation for cruel market-driven consumptive purposes.
Read the full letter

Export of young elephants to Zoos

Namibia flouts elephant export laws
Namibia’s environmental authorities confirm that they have issued the necessary CITES (Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species) export permit for the sale of five wild elephant calves by Eden Game Farm in the Grootfontein district to a zoo in Dubai.
Read the full article on iafrica.com

Letter to Zimbabwe President regarding the export of baby elephants to China: January 2018
We are writing this letter on behalf of concerned wildlife advocates globally urging you to immediately halt the further capture and export of young, wild elephants from Zimbabwe’s parks to captive facilities overseas.
Read the full letter

Letter to the Minister of Environment, Zimbabwe, regarding potential exports of live elephants from Zimbabwe to captive facilities
Letter from the Species Survival Network (SSN) to the Minister of Environment, Zimbabwe, regarding potential exports of live elephants from Zimbabwe to captive facilities.
Read the full letter

Joint Letter to Eden Wildlife regarding the export five young live elephants from Namibia
On behalf of the undersigned conservation and animal welfare organizations representing hundreds of millions of people worldwide, we urge you to immediately and permanently halt plans to capture and export five young live elephants from your Namibia property, Eden Wildlife to Safari Park Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Read the full letter

Ivory Trade

NGO Letter to FC Barcelona – Appeal to Urge Rakuten Inc. to Cease All Elephant Ivory Product Sales
We are writing on behalf of our organizations, representing millions of citizens worldwide, to request your support in urging Rakuten Inc. to immediately cease the sale of elephant ivory products.In the midst of a global elephant poaching crisis, we urge you to call for the end of Rakuten’s role in the ivory trade, and to support elephant range states in Africa and Asia in protecting their iconic elephants from this destructive trade.
Read the letter

Trophy Hunting

Comment to the USFWS on the petition to reclassify the Leopard as an Endangered Species throughout its range
The EMS Foundation wholly supports the Petition filed on July 25, 2016 by The Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International, Center for Biological Diversity, the International Fund For Animal Welfare, and the Fund For Animals to list all Panthera Pardus as Endangered and to immediately restrict leopard trophy imports.
Read the full document

Comment on Draft Norms & Standards for the Management & Monitoring of the Hunting Of Leopard for Trophy Hunting
The EMS Foundation and Ban Animal Trading object to the Draft Norms & Standards for the Management & Monitoring of the Hunting Of Leopard in South Africa for Trophy Hunting Purposes and urge DEA to take a precautionary approach and withdraw them until a critical and irrefutable body of scientific evidence exists in relation to leopard populations in South Africa.
Read the full document

Sign-on letter to CNN – U.S. regarding the documentary Trophy: January 2018
We understand CNN – U.S. will be airing a pre-recorded interview with the CEO of Born Free USA, Prashant Khetan, on January 11 and a live conversation between Mr. Khetan and Philip Glass, a hunter featured in Trophy, on January 12. We are respectfully asking you to please reconsider airing this “shockumentary” on your esteemed network without offering your millions of viewers an opportunity to see and hear the  counterviews to trophy hunting presented with the same degree of prominence and exposure. To this end, we request a meeting with you prior to the airing of Trophy to plead our case as to why airing the film in its current form could do irreparable damage to the cause of responsible wildlife conservation.
Read the full letter

Humane Society – Trophy Hunting – FACA Comments
Comments Opposing the Establishment of an International Wildlife Conservation Council
The Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International, Humane Society Legislative Fund and the undersigned groups strongly urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to not establish the euphemistically-named International Wildlife Conservation Council (“IWCC”), as establishing the IWCC as proposed would violate the Federal Advisory Committee Act and would be arbitrary and capricious and not in accordance with law.
Read the full document

EU CITES MA Letter – Importation into the EU of hunting trophies from Annex B species
We therefore request that the European Commission and EU Member States urgently revise Commission Regulation 865/2006 to require the issuance of import permits for hunting trophies from all Annex B species.
Read the full letter

The African Lion Conservation Community’s Response to the South African Predator Association’s Letter
We wish to express that SAPA’s letter is fraught with inaccuracies, false statements, and a flawed viewpoint that is shaped for the economic benefit of captive lion breeders. We recommend that USFWS maintains their current position which is to ban the importation of captive-origin lion trophies. Nothing has changed in the South African context since the previous USFWS finding that can justify a change of position.
Read the full letter

South African Policies & Legislation

Open Letter Re: Recent Constitutional Court Judgement and its Impact on South African
Environmental Issues

The Constitutional Court emphasised that constitutional values dictate a more caring attitude
towards fellow humans, animals and the environment in general and that this obligation was
especially pertinent because of South Africa’s history.

Read the full letter

Kruger Lions: Hunting for Skye and the truth
Let’s get this straight. The gratuitous killing of wild animals for pleasure and profit under the guise of conservation is not only highly contested and refutable, but is at the heart of the public outrage over the trophy killing of a male lion on the borders of the Kruger National Park last week.
Read the full article on the Daily Maverick

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: How South Africa’s policies are killing Africa’s wild animals
This Report tries to unpack South Africa’s role in a world where Africa’s animals are literally “Under Siege”.
We highlight an obvious pattern: legal trade in both ivory and rhino horn is part of the problem and should be prohibited, because it has been used to launder illegal ivory and rhino horn which in turn has stimulated demand. Criminals, benefitting from corrupt and inefficient administration in many parts of the world, including in South Africa and other Southern African countries, have taken full advantage. As a result of these factors many wild animals are under siege and facing extirpation.
Read the full submission to CITES COP 17

Objections and Comments on the Published Norms and Standards for the Management of Damage Causing Animals
As part of the public participation process for The Norms and Standards for the Management of Damage Causing Animals in South Africa, please find the following general comments and specific suggestions.
Read the full document

The culling of Hippopotami
Letter concering the well-being and safety of up to 2,000 wild hippopotami that currently live in Zambia’s Luangwa Valley and face destruction.
Read the full letter


Treatment of Animals at Rangun Zoo
Asia for Animals Coalition letter to Ministry of Forestry, Indonesia regarding the treatment of animals at  Ragunan Zoo
Read the full letter


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

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EMS Foundation

PO Box 3018, Honeydew 2040
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Contact Us

Michele Pickover (Director)

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