NSPCA wants quick stop to lion bone exports
The National Council of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) has applied for an urgent interdict against the environmental affairs department for it to suspend its authorisation of lion bone exports.
“The NSPCA has long been actively involved in addressing the cruelty in the captive lion industry; starting with lion cubs for petting to ‘canned lion’ hunting or slaughter for lion bone‚ with pending cruelty cases‚” the organisation said in a statement.
“The NSPCA has been frustrated in its efforts to prevent this cruelty by the lack of regulation within the industry. Not only are there regulatory loopholes‚ but there is also generally a lack of cooperation and communication from both national and provincial authorities.”
“Following decisions taken at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) Conference of the Parties 17‚ the minister of environmental affairs established an export quota of 800 skeletons for 2017.”
The NSPCA said the environmental affairs department announced a 1500 quota for 2018‚ despite a request by the organisation for a judicial review of the quota.
“The NSPCA has launched an urgent interdict based on welfare concerns. The NSPCA also believes‚ for both the review and interdict purposes‚ that: there is inadequate regulation of lions’ conditions of captivity and slaughter; the study on which the decision was based is incomplete; the [department] failed to comply with its statutory duty to consult; based on expert opinion and data available‚ [we] consider the decision to be scientifically irrational; lion bone trade may threaten the viability of lion and other big cat populations globally‚ encouraging consumers to utilise lion bone as a replacement for tiger bone in wine‚ tonics and traditional medicines and may increase demand.”
The NSPCA said cruelty to lions is an inevitable consequence of the department’s “misguided” actions and it is therefore committed to fighting this decision in court to protect lions.