Formalised lion export trading quota needed in South Africa

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North West University’s director of Tourism Research, Melville Saayman, says a more formalised lion export trading quota is needed in South Africa.

This comes amidst a lion bone export quota proposal by the National Department of Environmental Affairs. Saayman says there is currently an increase in lion poaching and the proposal will help to address this matter.

He says the establishment of an export quota for lion bones will benefit the country economically and will not lead to the extinction of lions.

“This is a good initiative, because it is happening in any case, but in most cases it is illegal,” Saayman says.  “Now what we are going to do is to legalise it, and then we are going to have better control of the situation”.

Saayman says it should be taken into consideration that the economic impact of lion breeding in the country is in the range of half a billion, and thousands of people are directly employed in the sector.

He says the lion bone export quota will benefit the country more than what is currently the case.

Saayman says this will make the trading of lion bones much more sustainable. It is believed that lion bones are used by Chinese markets for medical purposes.

The National Department of Environmental Affairs spokesperson, Albi Modise, earlier told OFM News that a quota of exporting 800 skeletons is proposed and that the scientific authority will communicate a final quota in March this year.

Katleho Morapela/Courant News

katleho@centralmediagroup.co.za