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 [https://whitelions.org/2017/02/03/800-lion-carcasses-year-read-jasons-response-dea/].
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: https://pmg.org.za/committee-meeting/8816/ ) 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.
CEO and Founder
Global White Lion Protection Trust