Now at Big Cat Rescue April 24 2014

Richard Hargreaves’ update on the

Lion Bone Trade from South Africa

Nikita Lion All Grown Up
Nikita Lion All Grown Up

 

24 April 2014

I recently read that the South African provincial records with regard to South Africa’s dead lion exports are a ‘complete shambles’. Based on the latest data now published for 2012 I’m inclined to agree….

 

DEAD LION EXPORTS FROM SOUTH AFRICA TO CHINA IN 2012

 

In December 2013 the South African Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs advised that South Africa exported the following dead lions to China in 2012:

36 trophies

15 bodies

2 skeletons

 

By contrast, South Africa’s ‘official’ CITES records now show dead lion exports to China in 2012 of:

 

21 trophies

1 skin

12 bodies

 

China’s ‘official’ CITES records for 2012 own up to 17 of these trophies but they also reveal import of a further 92 lion skins (93 in total) from South Africa in 2012 that neither the South African environment Minister nor South Africa’s permit officials were apparently aware of!?!

So we have South Africa saying it exported approximately 54 dead lions to China in 2012 but China saying it imported 110 !?!

 

DEAD LION EXPORTS FROM SOUTH AFRICA TO LAO PDR IN 2012

 

In December 2013 the South African Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs advised that South Africa exported the following dead lions to Lao PDR in 2012:

1 trophy

20 bodies

8 skulls

92 skeletons

 

From South Africa’s ‘official’ CITES records those dead lion exports from South Africa to Laos in 2012 can now more accurately be stated at:

1 trophy

49 bodies

15 skulls

108 skeletons

 

Plus just over 107 kilograms of additional lion bones.

 

DEAD LION EXPORTS FROM SOUTH AFRICA TO VIET NAM IN 2012

 

In December 2013 the South African Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs advised that South Africa exported the following dead lions to Viet Nam in 2012:

8 trophies

738kg of bones

 

Again, from South Africa’s ‘official’ CITES records those dead lion exports from South Africa to Viet Nam in 2012 can now more accurately be stated at:

8 trophies

738kg of bones

 

Plus a further 72 lion bodies that the Minister was apparently unaware of!?!

 

CONCLUSION

 

So what are we looking at here?

Basically well over 350 dead lions were exported from South Africa to Asia in 2012.

That’s about 150 more than the Minister said it was last December.

That’s also not including how ever many lions those 845kg of bones comprised….

The evidence is in that these dead lions are boiled down upon arrival in Asia and used in products passed off to unsuspecting customers as containing tiger bone. That’s a huge injection into the supply side of the Asian tiger bone trade that poses a dire threat to the world’s last 3,000 tigers.

The South African Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs previously advised that she would not ban the export of dead lions from South Africa to Asia as “she considered that the lion bone trade from South Africa posed no threat to wild lions.”

The Minister was recently asked if she will now ban the lion bone trade from South Africa owing to the dire threat that it poses to the world’s last 3,000 wild tigers. Still she says no!

Will the complacency ever end before the last of the big cats is gone from the wild?

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