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Letter of Condemnation to the Director General Department of Nature Conservation demanding that every lion killed in the bone trade be named and photographed


Like fingerprints, every lion has unique spot patterns. No two are identical.  This killing industry is not only scientifically unsound, environmentally unsustainable and fundamentally unethical, it is also culturally offensive across any and all cultures who hold Nature with love and respect.    

Mrs Nosipho Ngcaba                                                                                20 July 2018
Department of Environmental Affairs

Our original Letter of Objection (11 May 2015) to your Department regarding the legalizing of the lion bone trade refers [//].

The Global White Lion Protection Trust (GWLPT) is a conservation authority with a long track-record of engaging legislative process with regard to Panthera leo (as Gazetted in South African Parliament, 2008: // ) and have repeatedly called for the protection of lions as South Africa’s living heritage over 3 decades.

We hereby place on record, once again, in the strongest terms, our condemnation for DEA’s authorization of 1,500 lions to be slaughtered for the Lion Bone trade. This industry did not exist prior to 2000 when South Africa started trading our lions as commodities. We submit that this industry is not only scientifically unsound, environmentally unsustainable and fundamentally unethical, it is also culturally offensive across any and all cultures who hold Nature with love and respect.

1.     Your Department will be held accountable not only under international law, when these actions come under review by CITES again in 2019, but under the scrutiny of the global conservation network.

2.     In legalizing and regulating this industry, your Department undertook to keep responsible records and documentation.

3.     By law, you are required to officially document the issuance of all permits, listing the “number” of every lion slaughtered, together with the origin of the farm from where it was sourced. (Public participation meeting, SANBI 18 January 2017). 

4.     To ensure accountability, a photographic identikit recording the cheek/whisker spot pattern (using the method of Pennycuick & Rudnai 1970) of each and every lion in your production line is required to be filed along with the DEA permit.

5.     Furthermore, the Global White Lion Protection Trust requires that you name every lion, and we will provide you with a listing.

As a specialist lion conservation body and Non-Government Organisation with Public Benefit status, that is actively involved in lion research as well as working closely with indigenous communities, we require oversight of this naming process. We will be joined in this action by other conservation bodies and NGOs – we will revert with a list of these organisations.

In Old African tradition, it is customary to name an animal as a token of love and respect [Credo Mutwa, 1996: Isilwane: The Animal]. This “token” is the least your department can do to earn the title: Department of Environmental Affairs.



Linda Tucker
CEO and Founder
Global White Lion Protection Trust


  • Ginger Wright
    July 27, 2018

    The Lions need their bones more than anyone else! Be moral! Set a worldwide example. Be the good in this world not the evil.

  • Linda
    July 28, 2018

    Appalling decision

  • Jeanne Brouillette
    July 28, 2018

    This is such a disgusting and horrifying action to be murdering these lions. We must look at the long-term and not short-term monetary benefit these individuals and governments hope to gain from killing our precious wildlife. Tourism benefits African nations far more than killing off species. Without these animals Africa is a garbage dump.

  • Lisa
    July 28, 2018

    How do you even have it in you, to do this? Please regain our faith in you and the human race by turning this around. We all have great respect and in fact celebrate, those who have the power and leadership strength to turn something like this around – to appease a few reasons of science and wildlife presented, along with global distraught from your fellow humans. Thanking you with all my heart for your kind consideration…Lisa.

  • Gwyneth Doutch
    July 28, 2018

    This is horrendous and has to stop. Lions belong in the wild and we must do all that we can to make sure they survive and have a future.

  • Gail
    July 30, 2018

    I am simply ashamed to be in the same country as politicans that do this.

  • Linda McCabe
    August 1, 2018

    This is disheartening news. The power and elite groups in society are once again exerting irresponsible control over vulnerable and critical wildlife, in this case, the majestic African lions and ignoring the cultural contexts which honour the lion. In addition to naming and photographing the lions and making these publically available, I would like to propose that the name and country of origin of the hunter(s) be added beside the photograph. At a minimum, the country of origin of the hunter. We need to begin to see if there is a clear pattern in hopes that can also raise awareness. A photo exhibition of all those lions killed as “trophies” could be quite moving.
    Thank you GWLT for continuing your tireless quest to protect the lions.

  • jo woolley
    August 8, 2018

    What can we do in the UK – would it hep to flood the SA ambassador here in the UK with letters, emails and complaints about this atrocity?
    Would starting another petition make a difference?

    Blessings, with love

    Jo x

  • Anna Bromley
    August 10, 2018

    This is horrendous beyond belief. I wonder at the ‘Far Eastern trade markets”. Who are the people who create the market for the bones? Do they not understand what effect they are having on the planet’s endangered species? Is there no way of educating people to stop buying this awful product. Then there would be no market to trade with. This is the same issue that is driving the tigers to extinction. What can we do to work with people on the other end of this deal?

  • Richelle Dassin
    August 11, 2018

    There is NO justification to kill these beautiful beings. None. Government should do all to protect them. Patrimony on the earth.

  • Judy
    August 22, 2018

    Such cruelty. You’re totally missing the long term effects of these decisions . Lions need their bones. Africa must must preserve its uniqueness in the world. Please stop this stupidity destroying your magnificent animals

  • August 22, 2018

    Everyone in the world needs these lions to live full, happy lives in the wild without fear of being captured or killed. The global community demands this. I support the Global White Lion Protection Trust. The world is watching. Please create a world that we can all live in.

  • August 23, 2018

    Please, please protect these gorgeous beings.

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