800 skeletons of captive-bred lions, Africa, lion bone industry, News, South Africa Environmental Affairs Department, traditional medicine market, World -

South Africa Approves Export of 800 Lion Skeletons This Year; Critics Up in Arms

800 skeletons of captive-bred lions, Africa, lion bone industry, News, South Africa Environmental Affairs Department, traditional medicine market, World -

South Africa Approves Export of 800 Lion Skeletons This Year; Critics Up in Arms

Lions yawn in the Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa. (AP Photo/Kevin Anderson, FILE)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Some 800 skeletons of captive-bred lions can be legally exported from South Africa this year, the government said Wednesday, meeting demand for the bones in parts of Asia while alarming critics who believe the policy threatens Africa’s wild lions.

The lion bone industry, which supplies a traditional medicine market, has become a key part of the debate over how to protect the continent’s wild lions, which are under pressure from human encroachment and poaching.

The lion bone quota meets international guidelines on wildlife trade and a three-year study with annual reviews will assess its impact on wild lions, South Africa’s environmental affairs department said.

“South Africa reiterates its concern that if the trade in bones originating from captive-bred lions is prohibited, lion bones may be sourced illegally from wild lion populations,” the department said.

Some conservationists, however, say the legal trade may be fueling demand for bones, whether from captive-bred or wild lions. They also note that many of the captive-bred lions are killed by paying clients in a practice described by critics as “canned hunting.”

A 2015 report on lion bones said demand in China and Southeast Asia followed stronger conservation measures aimed at protecting tigers and other Asian big cats, possibly prompting dealers to turn to African lions as a substitute. Legal exports of South African lion skeletons increased from about 50 skeletons in 2008 to 573 in 2011, the report said.

Panthera, a global conservation group, said in March that the South African government’s plans for a lion bone quota this year were “arbitrary and potentially devastating for wild lion and critically endangered tiger populations.”

The South African trade feeds “a growing market among upwardly mobile Asians for luxury products such as lion bone wine” and “has grown exponentially since 2007, as lion bones have begun to fill demand for increasingly scarce tiger bones,” Panthera said.

The number of wild lions in Africa has plummeted by about 40 percent in the past two decades to roughly 20,000, according to estimates.


Leave a comment

Related Posts

'American Princess' Indeed: Issa Rae to Star In New Rom-Com
The rom-com—that much maligned and neglected genre—has been enjoying a bit of a revival lately. And who better to joi...
Read More
NYPD Under Fire for Not Arresting Alt-Right Group Seen Violently Beating Up Protesters
Over the weekend, videos and photos of the alt-right group the Proud Boys beating up protesters outside a Republican ...
Read More
White Supremacist Mob Violently Attacks Activists In New York, Pose For Photo Afterward
Following a Manhattan Republican Club meeting, violence erupted between pro-Trump, proto-fascist group the Proud Boys...
Read More
Simone Biles Had A Few Words For USA Gymnastics Interim President Mary Bono After Discovering Her Anti-Nike Tweet
Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles called out USA Gymnastics Interim president for an anti-Nike tweet, coming off the...
Read More

Tags