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Polar bear skin

No more of this in the EU?

 

The EU Directorate of Environment has now submitted draft changes to the EU Council and Parliament that will require import permits for hunting trophies of the following species:

White rhino
Elephant
Lion
Argali (a mountain sheep from central Asia)

Polar bear

The Council and Parliament are expected to approve the changes before the end of 2014.

As we explained earlier , this gives the EU member states much greater independent control over existing CITES regulations, and allows member states to refuse imports of hunting trophies of those species for which the EU Scientific Review Group is not satisfied that the offtake is sustainable and/or that insufficient information is available about population numbers to justify continued trophy hunting offtake. In addition, existing “negative opinions” arrived at by the EU Scientific Review Group will now carry over to all hunting trophies from those listed species as well.

This greater latitude over imports of what were once items (hunting trophies were considered “household and personal effects”) exempt from trade considerations under CITES is meaningful and encouraging to say the least.

It is highly interesting to us to see inclusion of the Polar bear on this list. As you might remember, during the last CITES Conference of Parties in March 2013, the EU joined the USA and Russia among other nations to support listing of Polar bears on CITES Appendix I. This would have halted all further trade in Polar bears – but ALL EU votes were then nullified by resistance from Denmark (the EU votes as a bloc but all member states need to agree, otherwise the entire EU has to abstain, a loss of 28 votes).

The uplisting of Polar bears was defeated, but now, as with lions, the EU can make decisions independently (and more stringently) than CITES. It will be very interesting to follow the future changes of Polar bear trophies into the EU.

The USA has already banned Polar bear hunting trophies. Within the EU, Denmark (perhaps the reason for their objection) is the largest importer of Polar bear products with 150 skins alone over the five year period 2008-2012 – from a rapidly declining species? Was the information that Denmark had to resist the uplisting based on better information about the status of Polar bears not available to other nations or did the Danes bow to pressure from vested commercial interest groups in their Greenland Dependency?

These sorts of self-interested decisions will hopefully now not be able to influence trade in significantly endangered species by continued commerce, as any EU member state has the right to raise objections to further imports of products from the species now listed. That objection will now need to be dealt with scientifically rather than politically.

The EU Environment Directorate is to be thanked for this positive development, and we urge them to consider the entire issue of “sustainability” of trophy hunting offtake of a greater variety of species in the future.

The relevant text of the EU is as follows :


“The European Commission has proposed to introduce changes to Commission Regulation 865/2006 and to Commission Implementing Regulation 792/2012.
Those changes are designed to:


introduce the requirement that import permits would need to be issued by EU Member States for the first introduction into the EU of hunting trophies of specimens of six species or populations included in Annex B of Regulation 338/97 (Ceratotherium simum simum, Hippopotamus amphibius, Loxodonta africana, Ovis ammon, Panthera leo, Ursus maritimus);


clarify that import permits should not be issued by EU Member States in cases where, despite a request to this end, they do not obtain satisfactory information from the exporting or re-exporting country as to the legality of the specimens to be imported into the EU.
In accordance with Article 19 of Regulation 338/97, the Committee on wildlife trade has given a favourable opinion to those changes.

The text of the draft Regulation amending Regulation 865/2006 has been subsequently sent to the Council and the European Parliament for their right of scrutiny. Unless the Council or the Parliament objects to the adoption of this Regulation (which can be done within a period of three months after receiving the document), the changes to Regulation 865/2006 will be adopted at the end of 2014. The adoption of the changes to Regulation 792/2012 will occur at the same time.”

Picture credit:  http://bit.ly/1uA1P2X 

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Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 17:27

Today is St Jerome Feast Day

Tuesday 30th September 2014

janet doolaege   What a fitting day to add a charming new book about St Jerome into our webshop.


This new children’s book recounts the story of Saint Jerome and the Lion is told by the lion himself. It is a tale of tenderness and adventure,St Jerome with some humour, but what makes it perhaps different from other children's books is its emphasis on communication between animals  and humans, and the general importance of translation between languages if there is to be any understanding. (Saint Jerome is, after all the patron saint of translators.)


Why is Leo the lion sitting on a roof under the stars feeling sad?
It all began in the desert when he got a thorn stuck in his paw. An amazing flying lion appeared and sent Leo to Father Jerome, a kindly monk. Father Jerome healed Leo's paw and then gave him the job of looking after Rebecca the donkey.
Now Rebecca has disappeared! Could it be Leo's fault?


Click here to order your copy of this wonderful book for children 7 years and up!

Picture credits: http://on.fb.me/1uyIHqR  http://bit.ly/1yxV9tG  

If you have not already signed up to our mailing list, you can add your name here and keep up to date with our ongoing work and, most importantly, DONATE to support our work to conserve the remaining fragile lion populations. Thank you. 

Tags: Lion, St Jerome,

Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 15:18

Hunting Lions in the Incan city of Cuzco, Peru

Wednesday 14th September 2011

This brief story about hunting lions in Peru has just come to us from a journalist in South America!

Click here to read the report on hunting lions in Peru.

Add a comment | Posted by Mark Zaretti at 00:51