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.