Lion bones and predator farming – picking on the carcass of SA tourism

Lion bones and predator farming – picking on the carcass of SA tourism

By Ian Michler – 17 August 2018- Daily Maverick

Lion bones and predator farming – picking on the carcass of SA tourismPredator farming using lions and other species could cost South Africa over R54-billion over the next 10 years in loss of tourism brand attractiveness. This is according to a scientific report about to be released by the South African Institute of International Affairs. According to a scientific report about to be released by the South African Institute of International Affairs, the Economics of Captive Predator Breeding in South Africa, the burgeoning lion bone trade, canned lion hunting, cub petting and “voluntourism” are doing escalating damage to the image of South Africa as a tourism destination. There is already substantial body of evidence stacked against these notorious industries says the author, Ross Harvey, and it’s going to get worse.

Predator farming in South Africa, abusing volunteers
Predator farming in South Africa, abusing volunteers

The report comprises two sections. The first is a formal academic review of the scientific and “grey” literature, some of which is being used by those involved in attempts to justify their commercial predator activities. The second deals with the conservation and economic claims being made, including the most recent lion bone quota of 1,500 carcasses awarded by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). According to Harvey, “perhaps the most surprising finding was the sheer extent to which the skeleton quota numbers for the last two years (from 800 to 1,500) appear to have no grounding in science. Also startling is how little reliable economic analysis has been conducted on this industry”.

The cruelty and brutality of industrial-scale farming of lions in South Africa has been documented by Blood Lions and others, as has the killing of predators by hunters. In the past, these have been the ugly face of this industry. But Harvey’s report adds the burgeoning lion bone trade as well as the cub petting and “voluntourism” sectors which have over the last decade become just as insidious.

Some of the principle findings in the report are that:
Based on the current literature and data available, the conservation and economic claims of the entire industry “do not correspond to reality”. Excluding the canned hunting sector, the predator breeding industry and its other related activities may generate over R1-billion of revenue a year– less than 1% of the total tourism economy. The opportunity costs and negative externalities associated with these industries may “undermine South Africa’s brand attractiveness as a tourism destination by up to R54.51-billion over the next decade”.

Lion Male roaring
Lion Male roaring

The conservation claims have no validity. Current data is based on small sample sizes dependent on interview responses. If the industry is going to make any claims of economic benefit, further analysis and data collection is needed. The lion bone quota should be removed as there is insufficient scientific basis for awarding it. In addition, legal quotas create supply-side signals of legitimacy that promote parallel illegal markets as well as poaching for illegal stock to be laundered through “legal” markets. Volunteers on predator facilities are taking work away from local full-time job-seekers.

While the market for canned hunts has fallen, this has not resulted in any noticeable increase in demand for wild lion trophies. The price of lion bones is on the increase; heading over R50,000 for a carcass, and that this trade may well be replacing canned/captive hunting as the breeders primary revenue source. The connection between predator farming and organized crime has been well documented.

Caged Male Lions
Caged Male Lions

Of particular interest to the government, particularly the Department of Labour and the revenue authorities, will be Harvey’s findings on the much-touted job creation claims made by predator facilities and so-called sanctuaries. Rather than creating jobs, they make use of a seemingly endless stream of volunteers which is “crowding out” full-time jobs that would otherwise be available to local work-seekers. The volunteer exchange is the most incongruous of contracts as those offering their labor for free are also asked to pay substantial sums before setting foot in a facility. In essence, the volunteers pay twice; their cash in dollars or euros that provide substantial revenue streams for the operators, and then they work for free, without pay. It may seem inconceivable that anyone would offer both their cash and labor to scrub lion cages, mend fences and feed animals among many other chores. But as Harvey points out, this happens because of the misleading or false conservation claims used to lure them.

Lion Male waiting to be picked up for a canned hunt
Lion Male waiting to be picked up for a canned hunt

Unsuspecting volunteers from around the world are prepared to make these sacrifices thinking they are making a contribution to securing the future of wild lions. A further lure is the chance to cuddle and bottle-feed newly-born cubs ripped from their mothers.

The report highlights the economic contributions of these predator farming facilities as being relatively small. However, it is the first to quantify the significant potential losses to Brand South Africa. Concerns about the future of lion hunting and breeding are being noted at the highest level and next week Parliament will hold a two-day colloquium to hear a range of viewpoints. DM

Every Day is WORLD LION DAY!

Every Day is WORLD LION DAY!

A WORLD LION DAY?

That is the question you need to ask yourself today: Is today a Wold Lion Day?
Are you going to continue 😤😖😡 posting angry face images 😣👺😈 on social media every time you read about the plight of our lions? Or are you going to become actively involved somehow to stop this exploitation? Will you give up YOUR TIME and CREATIVITY to prevent even one more destruction of a lions life? Take today to think of those thousands of lions who gave up their lives unnecessary for the sake of greed, status and an inferiority complex. Share and raise awareness to support our cause to fight lion exploitation. Every Day is WORLD LION DAY!

World Lion Day - Statistics - Poster @ EWT https://www.ewt.org.za/
World Lion Day – Statistics adjusted- EWT – Endangered Wildlife Trust

Take the Pledge for the Lions HERE

Wild ‘n Free

“I pledge to keep all carnivores Wild ‘n Free by not petting, walking, feeding or taking selfies with them. I vow to become an ambassador for wild carnivores and to honour their right to live a natural life. I encourage others to do the same.”
Every day is World Lion Day - Pledge - https://www.ewt.org.za/ - #WildnFree
Every day is World Lion Day – The Pledge

 

#WildnFree #NoPet #Lions4Lions #WorldLionDay

 

Bones of Contention – Report – 2015

Bones of Contention – Report – 2015

Bones of Contention – A Report by TRAFFIC International and WildCRU

Bones of Contention is an assessment of the South African trade in African Lion bones and other body parts.

In the 1990s, images of Tigers Panthera tigris on some manufactured Chinese medicines were replaced with Lions Panthera leo. This lead to suspicions that parts from Tigers were being substituted with Lions. In 2005, evidence emerged that African Lion bones were indeed being substituted for Tiger in “bone strengthening wine”. The presence of Lion derivatives in “tiger” products was confirmed.

“Anger over lion bones sales” was the first South African newspaper headline in December 2009.  It is important to realize the proclaiming the existence of a legal trade in African Lion bones to supply the substitute “tiger bone” market in East-Southeast Asia.

Bones of Contention
Bones of Contention

 

Download the article HERE

 

Bones of Contention Report 2015

 

Colloquium on Captive Lion Breeding – 21. and 22. August 2018

Colloquium on Captive Lion Breeding – 21. and 22. August 2018
Colloquium on Captive Lion Breeding - 21. and 22. August 2018
DEA is sabotaging the Department of Tourism – Image @ Mwana

This letter was sent to Minister Edna Molewa by CACH UK upfront to the planned colloquium in August 2018

“How the DEA is sabotaging the SA Department of Tourism:

Everyone knows that lion breeding and canned lion hunting in South Africa has attracted significant international criticism and that this has increasingly damaged South Africa’s image abroad. Yet your Department spends millions every year trying to promote tourism here.

What you, and in particular your colleagues in other departments, may be less well aware of is the sheer scale of the overseas reaction. When you see the extent of the damage to SA brand image, you will be shocked.

To demonstrate this, retired lawyer David Nash of Campaign Against Canned Hunting ( CACH) UK has prepared the attached review. It lists the huge range of import bans, airline trophy bans, negative press coverage, anti-canned hunting campaigns, protest marches, tourist industry views and social media criticism. Once you read this important research, you will clearly see how Min Edna Molewa’s DEA is undermining your efforts.

Further, the damage to Brand SA adversely impacts Responsible Tourism – the fastest growing sector of the global tourism industry.

Hunting PR, swallowed by the DEA and other SA conservation structures, claims that canned hunting is essential to the South African economy.

CACH strongly disagrees: rather than benefiting the South African economy, captive lion breeding and canned hunting is a wasteful use of land and significantly limits employment and up-skilling opportunities when compared with other forms of farming and ethical wildlife tourism.
This Review demonstrates a clear economic case for banning lion farming (through a managed phasing out) and canned lion hunting.”

You can view and download the 50-page report HERE.

South Africa’s unregulated captive lion breeding industry will shortly be reviewed by the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs in a two day hearing open to the public.

According to the Committee chairperson, Mohlopi Mapulane, the aim of the event is to facilitate a constructive debate around the future of captive lion breeding and hunting in SA. A colloquium titled ‘Captive Lion Breeding for Hunting in South Africa: Harming or Promoting the Conservation Image of the Country’ will take place on 21 and 22 August, giving stakeholders from across the board an opportunity to present arguments for and against captive breeding of lions.

There is an outcry, and we must find a way to address it as soon as possible,” Mapulane says. “What is worrying is how this issue is affecting SA’s standing internationally. We cannot allow [captive lion breeding] to blemish our internationally-acclaimed wildlife and conservation record.

A report published by UK-based Born Free Foundation in March backs up Mapulane’s fears over SA’s waning reputation as an international wildlife and conservation pioneer, illustrating how the captive breeding of lions for hunting and their bones has detracted from SA’s conservation status.

Mapulane says the committee will “put a spotlight on the [captive breeding] practice, to better understand the different views that exist.” Following the discussions, the committee will decide whether to review and/or amend legislation, or whether they would have to initiate new legislation through parliament.

Colloquium on Captive Lion Breeding – 21. and 22. August 2018

Colloquium on Captive Lion Breeding – 21. and 22. August 2018

Colloquium on Captive Lion Breeding – 21. and 22. August 2018

CACH Brand SA Review August 2018