Lions Under Threat Let Down By the SA Department of Environment Affairs
On 29 April this year LionAid posted our objections to the proposed Biological Management Plan for South Africa’s lions, which you can read about here. The SA Department of Environmental Affairs requested such public input to their proposal to make lions a species of "least concern", and we gave them chapter and verse.
After some rumination on their part after what we hope was a great number of critical public comments, the DEA has now announced they want even further comments before September 30th. And that they could be perhaps be considering hunting of South Africa’s wild lions in addition to those sitting in cages in their breeding programmes awaiting canned hunters.
This endless request for more input is typically what happens in South Africa.
Those of you following the torturous alleyways of how South Africa is attempting to justify the trade in rhino horn will be well familiar with this process. It just goes on and on, moves from committee to committee, from one stakeholder meeting after another, from one opportunity for public comment to the next, from one “scientific” review to another.
It is a process guaranteed to frustrate but at the same time to placate. After all, the SA government can say to critics and international organizations that they have completed an “exhaustive” (or exhausting) process of input, and based (or not) on all the information received ----- they will go ahead with those schemes that provide the best short-term money making opportunities over long term conservation priorities.
And where is the “science”?