Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Lion Parts Trade

A new threat to the conservation of wild lions is emerging – namely the trade in lion body parts for use in so-called traditional medicine.  It is believed that, in South East Asia, wild lion bones and other body parts are increasingly sought after, perhaps to replace now extremely scarce tiger products, and also as a result of a booming Asian community living in Africa.  Unfortunately as African lions are currently on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) international commercial trade in their body parts is still legal.  Canned hunting facilities in South Africa have been exporting worrying volumes of lion body parts to South East Asia.

According to official figures, almost 4986 lion products associated with the terms ‘bones’, ‘bone pieces’, skeletons’ or ‘skulls’, were legally exported between 2003-2012, of which 1098 were derived from wild lions.The trade in skeletal products is increasing. Exported items derived from wild lions increased from 15 in 2003 to 314 in 2012. These legal sales may mask a much bigger illegal trade, and the availability of legal lion bones in Asian markets may increase demand and incentivise the poaching of lions in Africa.

Born Free is firmly of the belief that lions should be uplisted to Appendix I of CITES in order to bring an end to the legal trade and assist enforcement efforts to stem the illegal trade in lions. 

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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