What Now After The Colloquium?
Will lions ever be left alone to just be lions?
Who are we to determine their future?
Why the need to consistently justify hunting the ‘King of the Jungle”
Why do we as humans feel the need to make ourselves more superior than other species on this planet?
It’s simple … MONEY!
Money and a lack of ethics and integrity has clouded our judgement.
I ask these questions and raise these simple points, as a concerned mother of two – with fears that our wildlife will soon be no more.
I am by no means an expert on wildlife – I am simply a South African citizen who works for an NGO committed to reviving our humanity, and the ethics, integrity and empathy that are essential components of human dignity.
I make these points following a recent colloquium held at South Africa’s parliament entitled “Captive Lion Breeding for Hunting in South Africa and whether its promoting or harming the conservation image of the country.”
Attended by government officials who deal with the environment portfolio, various animal rights and animal welfare NGO’s, as well as hunting associations, there was promise made by the chairman that the gathering would not be just another talk shop.
So, was it? We will have the answer only when a clear decision is made regarding the call to save our lions and impose a total ban on the trade with China involving captive lion breeding for their bones.
Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa – gave the key note address at the two-day gathering.
She made it clear that the information she was about to share were NOT her words but that of a scientific authority. The scientific authority is a research group established by the Department of Environmental Affairs.
Their job - according to the DEA website – is to assist in regulating and restricting the trade in specimens of listed threatened or protected species and species to which an international agreement regulating international trade applies.
“At times some incorrect information on the issue around lion conservation – should be scientific and not anecdotal.” Said Molewa
During the discussion the authority came under scrutiny with some delegates raising the point that one can’t always use science as a method to determine fact.
Minister Molewa made these points during her speech:
South Africa is one of 7 countries globally that has a substantial lion population
The African lion, according to some reports is not facing extinction from either hunting or captive breeding
That canned hunting has been banned under the Threatened Protected Species regulations
That South Africans should be assured that lion policies are backed by scientific evidence
And that data suggests that South Africa’s lion population is stable
Campaign Against Canned Hunting founder Chris Mercer, who boycotted the colloquium, says “there are serious flaws in the minister’s claims.”
Other NGO’s pointed to…
An inability of the Departments of Environmental Affairs to enforce regulation
A lack of adequate welfare
Effects on other wild lion populations
The fact that the practice of lion-hunting and the international trade in their bones is essentially an administrative embarrassment for South Africa.
So! Are we to understand that despite the embarrassment and condemnation from local and international bodies, lion hunting and the breeding of lions for their bones will continue if profit is to be made?
We will now have to wait and see if colloquiums like this will continue so we can eventually reach a point where there’s a total ban on this unethical and cruel trade in our wildlife.
May the ban come about in my lifetime because the King of the Jungle, in all his magnificence, is being destroyed.
As a mother, I ask how dare we take away this magnificence from my children – one of whom we have proudly named Tau.