Posts Tagged ‘SOUTH AFRICA’

THE BREAKING POINT REPORT – PRESS RELEASE 22ND MAY 2020

OUTCOME OF THE MEETING BETWEEN BAN ANIMAL TRADING SOUTH AFRICA, THE EMS FOUNDATION AND THE MINISTER OF THE ENVIRONMENT, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES

The Minister of Environment, Barbara Creecy, initiated a meeting with the EMS Foundation and Ban Animal Trading in response to the publication of The Breaking Point Report which highlighted the shameful live wildlife trade between South Africa and China. The meeting was held this morning.

We welcome the Minister’s commitment to investigate the serious issues raised in our Report, within a three month period. 

We also welcome the Minister’s commitment to strengthening the permitting system, her commitment to greater transparency within governmental systems and access to information produced by the Department, and the provinces. The Minister acknowledged that civil society has a role to play in holding government to account and therefore government should be transparent. 

The Minister recognised that national government has the overall responsibility and the obligation to ensure that the system implementing CITES complies with CITES regulations. 

The Breaking Point Report showed the fundamental problems which are systemic in nature and relate to overarching policy issues. We were disappointed that the Minister was not willing to engage in policy discussions at this stage but she did commit to doing so in appropriate forums. 

The Minister would not agree to a moratorium on the international export of live wild animals. We believe a Moratorium is an appropriate first-step response to addressing the expansive systemic problems. Given the degree and nature of the failings of the current system, it would be irresponsible to continue exporting wild animals until the investigation has been completed and the problems have been addressed. For these reasons, particularly given the fallout from COVID-19, we will continue to push for a Moratorium. 

We believe our Breaking Point Report contains sufficient information to enable the Minister and her Department to identify the transgressions immediately. Over and above our Report, which is the tip of the iceberg, the Minister’s Department has all the information to hand to begin with their investigation immediately.  

The organisations agreed to provide the Minister with a Memorandum that will highlight issues to be included in her investigations as well as recommendations that will address the inadequacies in the systemic framework.  

We look forward to the results of the investigation.  As environmental, social justice and animal protection organisations we will continue to speak up for animals and the environment. 

The report can be sourced here: https://emsfoundation.org.za/the-breaking-point-uncovering-south-africas-shameful-live-wildlife-trade-with-china/

Contact Details:

Smaragda Louw , DIRECTOR, BAN ANIMAL TRADING smaragda@bananimaltrading.org

 Michele Pickover, DIRECTOR, THE EMS FOUNDATION michele@emsfoundation.org.za                                                      

                          

                                           

IMAGE CREDIT: BAN ANIMAL TRADING

© 2020 EMS Foundation. All rights reserved.

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THE BREAKING POINT – UNCOVERING SOUTH AFRICA’S SHAMEFUL LIVE WILDLIFE TRADE WITH CHINA

A SPECIAL REPORT BY: The EMS Foundation and The Ban Animal Trading Organisation

17th May 2020

Introduction

The wild animals within the borders of South Africa are part of the heritage of every South African and we have the right to demand that our government protects wild animals against exploitation and to demand accountability from government as to what it does in this regard. Government is empowered by a cogent body of laws to perform this function and it is obliged to do so by international treaties. It is urgently necessary for government to comply with its responsibilities not only because of the ethical, moral and legal compunction to do so but also because the export of our wild animals for the financial gain of a few has become big business.

South Africa has become the largest exporter of live wild animals to Asia, where many wild animals are killed to extract potions from their carcases and are eaten as delicacies. Some are sent to languish in atrocious zoos. Some are inserted into the murky world of the illegal wildlife trade. The reality is that the South African government fails to apply its strong regulatory powers and by design or neglect allows strikingly large numbers of animals to be exported.

The EMS Foundation and Ban Animal Trading, both NGOs, have investigated the export of a large sample of wild animals to China and their findings are set out in the Breaking Point Report which is hereby released. 

The legal trade with China is extensive, with glaring violations overlooked by authorities and benefits flowing to a few wealthy traders. The legal trade also acts as a cover for illicit trade. CITES legal wildlife trade monitoring systems contain extensive loopholes, gaps and opportunities to launder illegal items into the legal market.

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LOVE AND THE ART OF GIVING DURING THE TIME OF THE COVID_19 GLOBAL PANDEMIC

“A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of” Nelson Mandela

“We are violating the rights of young people in this county on a daily basis. These kids are not getting what they were promised in terms of the constitution and the bill of rights. And then we blame them for the problem of high crime and gangs. Yet we put them in a situation where that’s sometimes the only alternative for survival. We are responsible, as a country, for creating a situation where gangs are inevitable” Don Pinnock. Pinnock is a South African writer, investigative journalist, criminologist and author of ‘Gang Town’ a book written drawing on three decades of research.

The Cape Flats is an area in the Western Cape of Southern Africa, it is an example of where the problems of massive income inequality in the country are most obvious. There are also high rates of unemployment and very limited state-supported service delivery. The Cape Flats is an epicentre where community members are recruited to become involved in local and international organised crime.

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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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