Latest Lion Aid News
Wednesday 17th September 2014
Soon no longer importable
Today we received an e-mail from Gael de Rotalier of the European Commission. He mentioned that the Commission had now proposed the requirement of an import permit for all lion trophies. He felt that there should be no opposition for adoption by the EU Parliament or Council, and that import permits will be adopted by the end of this year or early in 2015.
Why is this important?
The EU Wildlife Trade Regulation (WTR) usually follows CITES, but can impose stricter regulations. The EU WTR is regularly monitored by the Scientific Review Group to determine whether trade in such species is sustainable and conducive to conservation aims.
“Negative opinions” mean that the Scientific Review Group is not satisfied that continued utilization of lions in those countries is favourable to their conservation. But even with these “negative opinions”, lion trophies are still allowed into the EU.
Why? Because hunting trophies are currently exempted from trade regulations as they are considered “household and personal effects” and therefore receive what is called a “derogation”.
When the import permits for lions come into effect, these “negative opinions” will automatically extend to hunting trophies as well, so that no further imports of trophies from Benin, Burkina Faso and Cameroon will be allowed into the EU.
LionAid has been working tirelessly for several years to get this derogation removed, and it seems it will now become a reality. We have had meetings with the Commission as well as Members of European Parliament to communicate the urgent conservation needs of wild lions in Africa (of which there are likely not more than 15,000 on the entire continent, down from about 200,000 fifty years ago) and that trophy hunting is a needless source of further mortality.
We will also now work with the European Commission to take a very close look at those countries that now enjoy a “positive opinion” in terms of lion trophy imports – Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Namibia, South Africa.
With the requirement of an import permit, the EU can require a much better evaluation of how well those populations are faring while being subjected to trophy hunting offtakes.
We need not remind you that we are entirely dependent on donations to continue this important work to achieve these results.
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Posted by Chris Macsween at 17:25
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