THE DIRECTOR GENERAL MS NOSIPHO NGCABA AND MINISTER BARBARA CREECY
FROM: THE WILDLIFE ANIMAL PROTECTION FORUM SOUTH AFRICA
THE LETTER IS TITLED: ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO REVIEW POLICIES, LEGISLATION AND PRACTICES ON MATTERS RELATED TO THE MANAGEMENT, BREEDING, HUNTING, TRADE AND HANDLING OF ELEPHANT, LION, LEOPARD AND RHINOCEROS AND RELATED MATTERS
“We are disappointed and deeply concerned with the selection of the Committee as well as the Department’s lack of transparency and clarity in respect of the selection thereof.
The Committee is predominantly composed of persons directly involved in the use and exploitation of wildlife including hunting, breeding, testing, killing and otherwise. Such persons have deeply vested commercial/financial and other interests in the outcome of the Committee’s deliberations. We are of the view that such persons cannot be considered to be independent of these interests and will thus attempt to influence the outcome in accordance with such.”
Minister Barbara Creecy Appoints an Advisory Committee to Review Policies, Legislation and Practices Related to the Management of Elephant, Lion, Leopard and Rhinoceros.
22nd October 2019
The names of the committee members were published in the Government Gazette Number 42761 (Notice Number 1317) on the 10th October 2019. The Committee was also known as the High Level Panel, has been appointed in terms of the National Environmental Management Act of 1998.
The Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Ms Barbara Creecy has announced the appointment of Mr Mavuso Msimang as the Chair of a 25-member advisory committee to review policies, legislation and practices related to the management, breeding, hunting, trade and handling of elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros.
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.
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.