Conservation Action Trust reports the lion bone trade “is the ugly side of the already discredited canned lion hunting industry”.
According to the interdict applied for by the NSPCA against the Minister of Environmental Affairs, the lion bone trade it is leading to “horrendous welfare violations of an iconic species”.
Don Pinnock reports that in mid last year, the NSPCA filed notice to set aside the export quota of 800 lion skeletons. Before this could be reviewed, the minister upped the annual quota for 2018 to 1,500 skeletons. “There are now reports of lion slaughter houses being set up to service the demand from Asian buyers.”
The NSPCA says cruelty to lions is an inevitable consequence of the DEA’s (Department of Environmental Affairs) misguided actions and is therefore “committed to fighting this decision in court to protect the lions of South Africa”. It has gut-wrenching photographs to back its case.
In the interdict, it says there’s currently no legislation in SA that regulates the keeping and slaughtering of lions. It points out that by fostering the trade in lion skeletons, the DEA is threatening the existence of wild lions in Africa by expanding a market which poachers will exploit.
“With trophy hunting of lions,” it says, “the lions are required to be in good condition. This is not the case with the lion bone trade. There’s no economic incentive for breeders of captive-bred lions to ensure that their lions are appropriately fed and maintained in a good condition, since all that is required is an adult lion skeleton”.