Target: Dr. Bomo Edna Molewa, Minister of South Africa’s Department of Environmental Protections
Goal: Ban captive breeding and trade of lion carcasses.
Officials in South Africa have allegedly introduced an export quota on lion skeletons totaling 800 bodies. Though the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) banned international trade of bones and other animal body parts, it is allowing South Africa to continue with this disgraceful act as long as the country sets a quota. Thousands of exotic animal parts are exported each year from South Africa. Most come from breeding farms and are primarily sent to Laos and Vietnam. Protecting this endangered species should begin with completely banning animal skeleton trade and putting an end to captive breeding.
Lion populations have declined about 43 percent in the past two decades, and only 20,000 still roam eight percent of their historic territory. In addition to deforestation, conflicts with humans, and a reduction in prey, international trade has played a part in these declines, and activists believe the new quota will only make matters worse. Already, there are 8,000 lions being kept in about 200 farms around South Africa. They are exploited for tourists’ enjoyment and killed to please big game hunters. The dead bodies are then sold to Asia, where demand is increasing. Rather than implement a quota, South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) should be working to put an end to captive breeding and instead introduce a zero export quota on lion bones and body parts. Demand that this action be taken.
Dear Minister Molewa,
Lion populations are on a massive decline, and captive breeding is cruel and inhumane. Your country’s decision to enforce an export quota on lion skeletons is disappointing and revolting. South Africa should be doing everything in its power to protect this endangered species.
This quota could have an effect on wild populations, and it may increase the demand for exotic animal body parts in Asia. Activists see this move as a ploy for money so that lion farmers can continue to make revenue. I demand that you reverse this measure and instead implement a zero export quota and work to eliminate captive breeding of endangered animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: flowcomm