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TRADING IN MISERY: SOUTH AFRICA’S RECENT LION EXPORTS

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Official information obtained by the EMS Foundation from the South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries
and the Environment via the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) about lion exports from the Oliver
Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg, Gauteng), reveals that:

  • Primarily in 2019, 217 live captive lions were exported from the Free State, North West, Gauteng and
    Limpopo provinces.
     Between April and November 2019, the Free State province exported 79 captive lions to the
    following countries: China, DRC, Indonesia, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United States of America.
    Forty-two of which went to China (53%).
     The North West province, between December 2018 and November 2020 sent 54 live lions to
    China, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Vietnam and Zimbabwe, of which 43% went to China alone.
     In July and August 2019 alone, Gauteng province sent 40 captive lions to China and 5 captive
    lions to Indonesia in February 2021.
     Limpopo province sent 36 captive lions to Armenia, Benin, China, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Malaysia,
    Niger and Turkey. Most of these exports occurred between April and December 2019.
     In June 2018 Kwazulu-Natal province sent 8 wild lions from Mkuze to Mozambique most likely into
    hunting Coutadas.
  • Between August 2018 and 7 April 2021 there were, 907 trophy hunted body part related
    shipments/exports, consisting of 1864 items (including full bodies, bones, skulls with teeth, claws and
    skins). These included:
     827 shipments/exports of captive lion body parts
     80 wild lion body part shipments/exports
  • USA – 13
  • Poland – 7
  • Canada – 6
  • Russia – 6
  • Switzerland – 6
  • Belgium – 6 (3 from Sudan)
  • Germany – 6
  • Mexico – 5
  • China – 5
  • Spain – 5
  • Romania – 3
  • Argentina – 1
  • Austria – 1
  • Bulgaria – 1
  • Denmark
  • France – 1
  • Hungary – 1
  • Italy – 1
  • Japan – 1
  • Luxembourg -1
  • Mongolia – 1
  • South Korea – 1
  • Zambia – 1

Permit number 171120 for the “skull and full skin” of the lion known as Skye exported on the 24thAugust 2018. Interestingly it was not a “full mount” − was this a deliberate act to continue to cover up his killing? Countries which imported body parts from captive lions only included: Australia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Norway, Serbia, Slovakia, Sweden, Thailand, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. The countries which imported the biggest number of lion body parts for this period were:

• Spain – 109

• Canada – 101

• Hungary – 82

• Poland – 58

• Mexico – 55

• Denmark – 57

• Russia – 46

• USA – 41

• Germany – 35

• Austria – 27

• China – 26

• Slovakia – 26

• Italy – 25

• United Kingdom – 21

• Czech Republic – 19

• Argentina – 16

• Sweden – 13

  1. Six permits for 52 lion skeletons and carcasses were issued and exported in 2019. This despite the
    announcement by the Minister, and given the High Court Judgement, that there was no lion bone quota
    established or approved for 2019. All these shipments went to Vietnam and the permits were issued by
    the following provinces: Gauteng, Free State, Limpopo and North West provinces. In addition to these
    permits and shipments, another 142 lion skeletons and carcasses were exported in 2019 to Vietnam
    with permits issued in December 2018 by the Free State and North West provinces. Thus, in 2019, according to DFFE, 194 lion skeletons and carcasses were exported from South Africa through the Oliver Tambo International Airport to Vietnam. According The CITES Trade Database South Africa claims that 156 lion skeletons were exported from South Africa: 13 as hunting trophies to an unknown destination, 1 to Thailand and 142 to Vietnam.

Original report:
https://emsfoundation.org.za/wp-content/uploads/Trading-in-Misery_lion-exports-from-South-Africa_14072021.pdf 

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