Rack-and stack captive-bred lion bones ready for export. File photo: African News Agency (ANA)
Rack-and stack captive-bred lion bones ready for export. File photo: African News Agency (ANA)

Mokonyane cuts export quota for lion skeletons to 800

By Lisa Isaacs Time of article published Dec 5, 2018

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Cape Town – Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane has done an about-turn on the 2018 lion bone export quota, slashing the June announced allowance of 1 500 skeletons to 800.

The department said that taking into account the current compliance inspections of lion captive breeding facilities being conducted throughout the country, there was a need to harmonise sustainable use with strictly controlled legal international trade and monitoring.

“The minister has amended the 2018 lion bone export quota to 800 skeletons from 1 500 skeletons announced in June 2018. The new quota is the same as the allocation for 2017.

“The maintenance of the 2017 quota will allow the department to reflect on effectiveness of the implementation of the quota, enhance compliance and monitoring systems, and further allow the high-level panel being appointed to incorporate these issues into their work.”

The announcement came as the well-being of big cats was highlighted on the eve of International Cheetah Day.

Mokonyane will also be appointing a high-level panel to review policies relating to matters of elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros handling, management, breeding, hunting and trade. 

“The panel will also review the implementation of the recommendations of the committee of inquiry into the feasibility, or not, of a legal rhino horn trade, and any future decision affecting trade-related proposals to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora,” the department said.

Four Paws director Fiona Miles congratulated Mokonyane for reducing the export quota after taking office. “We are hopeful the process will be transparent and that public engagement will be taken into account.

“The latest arrests (of eight people in North West found with lion bone and tiger skin in their possession) are a clear indication that captive breeding of these species opens the door for illicit trade and the subsequent dubious practices that follow.

“The bone export quota has stimulated supply and subsequently all the illegal practices that follow,” Miles said.

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