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Parliamentary questions
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31 March 2017
E-002379-17
Question for written answer E-002379-17
to the Commission
Rule 130
Neena Gill (S&D)

 Subject:  Lion bones and tigers
 Answer in writing 

In January 2017, South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs proposed an annual export quota of 800 skeletons sourced from captive lions. From 2008 to 2014, the bones of more than 4 900 African lions, from both wild and captive sources, were traded from South Africa to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Vietnam, Thailand and China.

It appears that the Government of South Africa and other Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) have not fully appreciated the impact of lion bone exports from South Africa on highly endangered tigers.

There are less than 4 000 tigers remaining in the wild and one of the primary threats faced by wild tigers is trade in their body parts. The trade in lion bones from South Africa is a serious concern because lion bone products are marketed to end consumers as being made of tiger bone, and such trade therefore stimulates demand for tiger products and provides an avenue for laundering wild tiger bone.

Will the Commission encourage the South African Government to reconsider its decision on lion bone exports in light of the impact on tigers?

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