Wednesday 2nd November 2011
LionAid is a small but very effective charity. In Africa, lions have suffered catastrophic declines in the wild from an estimated 200,000 animals in the 1960’s to fewer than 25,000 remaining today. In India, an isolated remnant has perhaps 400 individuals left.
There are many causes for this huge decline in African lions but we consider that lion sport hunting is a hugely significant additive source of mortality that needs to be immediately stopped before we can turn our attention to any other big issues that have caused declines.
There are now only around 2,500 adult male lions left in Africa and yet around 650 lion trophies (the vast majority of which are adult males) are LEGALLY exported every year.
We are currently working on a concerted campaign to bring about a ban on the importation of lion trophies into the EU. Whilst the goal of stopping lion trophy hunting worldwide is the ultimate aim, we know well that the exporting countries and hunting operators will be putting up very stiff resistance to such moves. But as with the ivory trade, the importing countries need to take a rigid stance and acknowledge that lion sport hunting is not sustainable.
Once we secure this European ban, there will be enormous pressure put on the USA (importing over 60% of hunting trophies) and on CITES (the regulatory agency) to follow suit so that a worldwide ban will become an achievable objective.
We are working with the UK and EU Governments and have so far gained the cooperation of 8 MEPs and 29 MPs across all the main political parties. In November 2010 we achieved a debate on lions in the UK Parliament and have had two written questions about lion conservation tabled to the EU Parliament (with more pending). We are now in further discussions with both the former and current Shadow Undersecretaries of State for Environment, and well as Minister Richard Benyon, current Undersecretary of State for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs.
We are delighted that we have now been invited by Catherine Bearder MEP to discuss options face to face with the European Commissioner for Environment in Brussels, and the EU Intergroup for Animal Welfare and Conservation. We will also contact the President of the Parliament. All to gain the inevitable and predicted support of the other 26 EU member nations or at least a majority of them to achieve a lion trophy import ban across the European Union.
Time is very much of the essence for lions, and we believe our progress over the past year has been greatly positive.
As a Charity we depend on your donations, and in terms of lion conservation, we can assure you they will be conscientiously used to ensure the future survival of this iconic species. To add your support to this highly effective campaign and to donate, please visit our website www.lionaid.org or email us on email@example.com .
Posted by Chris Macsween at 23:13
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