JOHANNESBURG - The department of environmental affairs (DEA) says it has approved an export quota of 1,500 lion skeletons with effect from June 7.
The department said the determination had been communicated to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) secretariat in line with a 2015 decision taken at the 17th conference of parties to the convention.
The implementation of the quota will be managed by the department with strict processes to be followed in line with regulations which stipulate, among others, that any application to export lion bones must be lodged with provincial conservation authorities, who must must confirm availability of the quota before issuing a permit.
It is mandatory that all skeletons be packed separately at the source and they must be weighed, tagged and a DNA sample taken. All consignments must be inspected and weighed at the ports of exit, in order to confirm the information contained in the relevant permit.
"The 2018 export quota is based on new evidence from a research project established by the South African National Biodiversity Institute in collaboration with the University of the Witwatersrand, Oxford University and the University of Kent that analyses and monitors the lion bone trade in South Africa," the DEA said.