Latest Lion Aid News
Tuesday 20th January 2015
Yesterday we were notified by the European Union that on February 5th, the EU will implement new trade regulations on hunting trophies for six species:
These regulations will mean that any country for which the EU Wildlife Trade Regulation Scientific Review Group has previously passed a “negative opinion” will now be denied any import permit for hunting trophy exports from the species listed above. A “negative opinion” implies that there is insufficient scientific evidence to show that trophy hunting is not detrimental to the conservation of the species.
For lions, this would mean that after February 5th, there will be no further lion trophy imports from Benin, Burkina Faso and likely Cameroon. LionAid will go further after achieving this initial success to call for a total ban on ALL lion trophy imports from ALL African range states that allow trophy hunting of lions until such time as independent population counts have been undertaken, including indicators such as male:female ratios, female:cub ratios, and other demographic indicators within hunting concessions. We would also like to see a complete cessation of import of trophies from lions bred in captivity in South Africa specifically to be trophy hunted.
These stricter regulations now also mean that the Scientific Review Group can assess all trophy imports for the other species listed. For example, we would expect NGOs to appeal for a cessation of import permits for trophy hunted elephants from at least Tanzania and Mozambique until such time when populations have been shown to have recovered from intense poaching pressure; that further imports of southern white rhino trophies cease with immediate effect as their trophy hunting does not aid conservation of the species; that no further hippo trophies are imported unless and until population surveys are conducted, etc.
In short, the EU is now in a position to critically evaluate trophy hunting as a “conservation” measure for all the species listed, and perhaps add further species to the list.
LionAid could not have achieved these new and stricter regulations for lion hunting trophies without assistance from several Members of European Parliament, members of the EU Commission Directorate of Environment, and many other individuals who actively participated in convincing the EU that much stricter regulations were needed than those applied by CITES.
Remember that CITES regulations can always be interpreted much more strictly by individual importing countries (or blocs like the EU). We are already seeing such trends in Australia, the USA and now the EU. We would like to see this becoming an increasing trend. The EU Wildlife Trade Regulations are determined by a scientific panel and that is where the future must lie. CITES has been increasingly accused of “deals for votes”, back-room negotiations and secret votes, non-transparency (the public is not allowed, for example, to know the content of documents sent to the Secretariat to indicate how the countries accused of trading in illegal ivory were cleaning up their acts), and a strong culture of lobbying instead of scientific assessment.
Picture credit: wikipedia.org
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Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 11:41