19 Lions Shot in South Africa Last Week. Over 80 Face Same Fate for Lion Bone Trade

Nineteen lions were allegedly shot last week in South Africa, and another 80 could soon be killed in the Free State. All apparently for the lion bone trade.

Source: Blood Lions

The news was broken yesterday by Blood Lions, a campaign that aims to bring an end to canned hunting and the exploitative breeding of lions and other predators on farms across South Africa.

Blood Lions said: “As the reality of South Africa’s lion bone quota takes effect, lions from all over the country are likely to be moved onto farms that act as collection points. And this may well be going down in the Free State right now on a farm not that far from Bloemfontein.”

Blood Lions claim that sources told them 19 lions were already shot this past week; and that “although permits for just over 80 more lions were apparently granted for killing next week, this batch has been put on hold due to procedural disputes within the provincial offices.”

Blood Lions says the permits were apparently granted under euthanasia clauses, but that the lions were shot with a rifle.

In September 2016, the CITES Committee announced it had approved the ongoing trade in lion bone, setting ‘quotas’ for the selling of bones of captive lions.

“From the outset, Blood Lions has opposed the issuing of a lion bone quota on a number of grounds, not least of which was that it was being done without any science to support the quota.”

Whilst the CITES committee decided to allow a lion bone quota from farmed lions in South Africa, it banned tiger farming in China.

Consumption of lion bone in Asia has increased over the past few years as it has become a replacement for tiger bones in tiger bone wine and tiger ‘cake’, used in the Traditional Chinese Medicine market.

There are currently approximately 8,000 captive lions in SA… whose lives begin as petting cubs for local and international tourists, before becoming too large to pet and too tame for the wild… and are relocated to farms where hunters pay exorbitant fees to kill them (as exposed in Blood Lions’ documentary of the same name).

lion bone trade
Lions at a lion farm in South Africa

Blood Lions said yesterday: “We are also concerned that, contrary to claims from government and the breeders and canned hunting operators that the lion bone industry is a by-product of canned hunting, the quota may well become one of the primary drivers of the breeding. It is possible that canned hunting will become a by-product of the bone industry.

“The brutal reality here is that South Africa is already farming lions under industrial conditions, and those involved are well on the way to domesticating the species.”

March For Elephants and Rhino said: “Why is THIS slaughter of the African #Lion allowed? This = 10% of quota via @CITES in 1 week!”

Blood Lions ended their post with a graphic image of a dead lion and said: “ACTION: Free State Permit offices: bonakele.mayekiso@dha.gov.za and nel@detea.fs.gov.za and tauk@detea.fs.gov.za”