- John Scanlon
CITES: Give Lions the Due & Proper Protection they Deserve
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CITES and all member nations; we the people, wildlife bodies, organisations and advocates;
DEMAND ACTION & PROTECTION FOR LIONS
At this years CITES CoP17 meeting in Johannesburg, where the protection of endangered & threatened species is voted upon by member nations, LIONS were dealt a biased, unfair and seemingly low blow, when they were not even given a rightful vote in the public arena.
Although CITES CoP17 meeting is now closed, attention on this crucial matter is important. We demand answers and proper protection for lions.
NOTE: a vote/re-vote by CITES is unlikely, but we should still shout for proper protection for lions, we should shout about the injustice lions received at CoP17, the continued abuse & exploitation lions are receiving from South Africa and other countries and we should use our voices for lions, for their roars are being ignored. Enough.
Lions were due to be voted upon, as whether to list the African Lion on Appendix I - however, this "vote" never materialised as it should have done (Elephants possible listing to Appendix I and Swaziland's proposal to trade in rhino horns were both voted on in the Committee room, lions were not).
Make sense to you?
African Lions are currently Appendix II, meaning that their bodies, trophies and parts may be openly traded with a CITES certificate. Appendix I would ensure a far stricter clamp down and protection from illicit trade (both legal & illegal trade is aiding the lions decline) and over-hunting (as proven in Cecil the lions' case, which was a drop in the ocean to the amount of times such illegal hunting has occurred).
CITES even write themselves in their report in 2015;
"Africa’s lions are in precipitous decline. Threatened by “indiscriminate killing in defence of life and livestock, habitat loss, prey base depletion, bushmeat trade and poorly regulated sport hunting”
Added to this, is the serious threat that Lion Bone Trade poses. South Africa introduced further legal lion bone/skeleton trades from 2008 when there was barely no demand or trade. Since then, the trade in lion bones are gathered huge momentum - via lion breeding in South Africa catering to this new demand, but importantly the ability for lion bones to replace tiger bones in such things as tiger bone wine, tiger cake, Asian traditional remedies and ornaments & jewellery.
As tiger numbers have dwindled, users and syndicates have turned to lions to supply the bones for such scientifically unproven remedies, concoctions, ornaments and jewellery. So it is no surprise that the African Lion is dwindling in population when combined with all the other issues affecting their survival.
If nobody needs Ivory but an Elephant.
Nobody needs Rhino Horn but a Rhino.
then why are CITES catering to South Africa by allowing them to deal in lion bones. It is proven that this is nothing to do with conservation, therefore the only stance that must be taken is to cease the lion bone trade immediately.
Nobody needs lion bones but a lion!
At the above landmark vote, IUCN members agreed that captive breeding of lions has not been identified as a conservation action in any African lion conservation planning programme. Added to this that the supply of lion bones from South Africa's captive bred lions, has indeed aided & abetted the huge upsurge in lion bone demand & trade.
Read the full remarks & advice here: https://portals.iucn.org/congress/motion/009
It is clear, that at CITES CoP17, lions have been short changed... the vote to up-list the African Lion from Appendix II to Appendix I did not even happen in the regular Committee Room as the Elephant vote did, along with many others. In crucial last minute changes, an open vote disappeared and discussions took place (note these discussions did not involve ALL CITES member nations). We are also concerned about the lack of transparency involved in the build up and in those discussions with regards to lions and their protection (or rather lack of).
The result of these discussions was a 'new' alternative which would mean lions remained on Appendix II with added annotations to help monitor and assess trade in lions.
In doing this, it means South Africa can continue trading in lion bones, breeding lions in captivity, captive lion hunting and the off-shoots that are lion cub petting and walking with lions tourist experiences.
The African lion (Panthera leo leo) was listed on Appendix II in 1977 when lions numbered approximately 100,000.
Africa's lions now number 20,000
How long before they disappear, BUT IMPORTANTLY, how long before we actually intervene and halt this decline and exploitation for profit? Nothing about this represents CONSERVATION
...and if you think this is about what/how trophy hunting benefits people, then this myth has already been dismissed and unproved.
By NOT listing Lions Appendix I, are CITES wilfully ignoring the IUCN vote, analysis of lions and their judgement that captive breeding of lions for hunting must end?
Please sign this petition as a call for CITES, IUCN, all member nations, wildlife organisations, conservationists and all interested parties to ensure proper, right and due protection is given to the African Lion (Panthera Leo).
- John Scanlon
Lions not even given right to a vote at CITES CoP17
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