WAPFSA MEMBERS COMMENTARY ON DFFE DRAFT POLICY POSITION 2021

On the 28th July 2021 members of the Wildlife Animal Protection Forum of South Africa submitted their comments on the Draft Policy Position (published in Government Gazette no. 44776 of 28th June 2021) on the conservation and ecologically sustainable use of elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros to the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment.

PLEASE READ THE FULL SUBMISSION HERE:

“WAPFSA members support a Draft Policy Position with a broad vision of “secured, restored and re-wilded natural landscapes with thriving populations of elephant, lion, rhino and leopard as indicators for a vibrant, responsible, inclusive, transformed and sustainable wildlife sectors and an equitable society living in harmony with natural resources” which we intend as Nature.”

WAPFSA members are also in support of and endorse the individual in-depth submissions made by:

Animal Law Reform South Africa

Ban Animal Trading

The EMS Foundation and Wild Law Reform

Four Paws South Africa

The Global White Lion Trust

Rhinos in Africa

The Pro Elephant Network

A VICIOUS CYCLE THE REPORT WRITTEN BY WAPFSA MEMBER FOUR PAWS

WILDLIFE ANIMAL FORUM SOUTH AFRICA ADDRESSES:

His Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa, Honourable Minister Barbara Creecy, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environmet, Honourable Minister Dr Zwelini Mkhize, Minister of Health, Honourable Minster  Minister of Employment and Labour, Honourable Minister Thokozile Didiza, Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Developement (DALRRD), Honourable Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi- Ngubane Minister of Tourism, CEO, South African Human Rights Commission, Adv. Tseliso Thipanyane, Secretary General, Congress of South African Trade Unions, Bheki Ntshalintshali, Director, Human Rights Watch, Dewa Mavhinga, CITES Secretariat

21ST APRIL 2021

HUMAN RIGHTS CONCERNS IN THE CAPTIVE BIG CAT INDUSTRY IN SOUTH AFRICA 

OPEN LETTER

The Wildlife Animal Protection Forum South Africa (WAPFSA) is an alliance of diverse South African based organisations that share certain values, knowledge and objectives and that collectively comprise a body of expertise from scientific, conservation, legal, welfare, rights, social and climate justice, indigenous paradigm and public advocacy sectors.

WAPFSA would like to bring to your attention a Report entitled The Vicious Cycle and published by one of our members, Four Paws.

The Vicious Cycle reveals human rights concerns within South Africa’s captive big cat sector. This industry utilises captive big cats for interactions with humans, trophy hunting and the export lion bone trade to Asia.

The Four Paws report highlights the immense suffering of these big cats, showcasing the poor hygiene protocols that are in place at these breeding facilities. Whilst there have been other reports published about this controversial and exploitative industry, Four Paws has specifically highlighted the conditions that the workers in this largely unregulated industry are subjected too.

In light of this report, the undersigned members of the Wildlife Animal Protection Forum are calling for a Presidential investigation into all aspects of South Africa’s captive big cat industry.

Attached please find a copy of the Report.

ALLEGED SMUGGLING OF LION BONE CALLED “LEGAL” BY MINISTER’S SPOKESPERSON

WAPFSA MEDIA STATEMENT

07 OCTOBER 2019

The recent news release of 342 kg of lion bones discovered on an outbound flight at OR Tambo Airport on 1stOctober 2019 which was subsequentially confiscated, 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 Scientific Authority 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.

Continue reading “ALLEGED SMUGGLING OF LION BONE CALLED “LEGAL” BY MINISTER’S SPOKESPERSON”

THE SOUTH AFRICAN LION BONE QUOTA

A SUBMISSION FROM TWENTY-FIVE NGO’S REPRESENTED BY THE WILDLIFE ANIMAL PROTECTION FORUM SOUTH AFRICA

TO

MINISTER BARBARA CREECY AND THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES

The establishment of a lion bone export quota cannot be done without examining and understanding the context and major problems with this so-called industry which are untenable, indefensible and unsustainable.

For more in-depth analysis and articulation of these issues please refer to Appendix 2 and Appendix 3 in The Extinction Business: South Africa’s Lion Bone Trade .

It is important to note that the issue of South Africa’s highly controversial lion bone trade is a national policy issue which has enormous local and global opposition. As a country, if we no longer choose to trade in big cat bones, it will have no impact on our commitments to CITES.

South Africa is under no obligation to CITES to trade in lion bones.

DOWNLOAD TO READ FULL SUBMISSION

THE EXTINCTION BUSINESS South Africa’s Lion Bone Trade

EXCERPTS FROM THE REPORT COMPILED BY THE EMS FOUNDATION AND THE BAN ANIMAL TRADING ORGANISATION

For more than a decade, South Africa has been actively supporting and growing the international trade in big cat bones, despite local and international outrage and condemnation from conservation and protection organisations, lion scientists and experts.

In 2017, South Africa’s Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, controversially, and in the face of vociferous opposition and robust arguments against this trade, set the annual export quota at 800 lion skeletons. Even more alarmingly, Molewa, without stakeholder participation, took the incomprehensible decision to almost double the quota in 2018 to 1,500 skeletons.

On July 11th 2018, the person in charge of the quota at the Department of the Environment told us categorically that no quota had been set for 2018. A few days later the DEA was forced to make a public announcement about the 2018 lion bone quota following a public outcry when a letter from Molewa, dated 7th June 2018, informing the provinces of the new quota allocation, was leaked. The undeclared reasons behind government’s decision to conceal this information from interested and affected parties needs to be brought to light and interrogated.

Two members of the Wild Animal Protection Forum South Africa namely the EMS Foundation and the Ban Animal Trading organisation spent eighteen months gathering information and investigating South Africa’s international lion bone trade.

The data that was gathered forms the basis for this report: The Extinction Business: South Africa’s Lion Bone Trade.