Australia Bans Lion Trophies and Body Parts

March 13, 2015 Environment Minister Greg Hunt announced an immediate ban on the importation of lion hunting trophies and body parts as a direct response to the cruel and barbaric industry of captive breeding and canned hunting.

A global first, Minister Hunt took a courageous and visionary step in helping the critical decline in Africa’s lions and showed the world that there’s no place for this industry in our civilised society.

For the Love of Wildlife has been instrumental in working with Jason Wood MP, Federal Member for La Trobe in taking this issue to the Federal Government. Ian Michler, internationally renowned conservationist and lead role in Blood Lions Movie attended a meeting with Minister Hunt in October 2014 with For the Love of Wildlife founder Donalea Patman and Economist Roderick Campbell, Australia Institute and author of Ecolarge.

Since the announcement Senator David Leyonhjelm has tabled a disallowance motion which will be tabled in the Senate for debate August 12, 2015.

March 16 Ian Michler presented to the EU Parliament to share the news on the Australian announcement and also inspire decision makers, politicians, media and the public to consider following Minister Hunt’s lead.

OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT

Thank you for your interest in the Australian Government’s proposal to introduce trade restrictions for African lion (Panthera leo) specimens.

On 13 March 2015, the Australian Government introduced a measure to treat specimens of African lion as though they are listed on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). This measure affects Australian import and export of lion specimens, and bans trade in African lion hunting trophies.

The measure was introduced following extensive consultations with African lion range states, businesses, hunters, conservation organisations, and researchers. Any potential impacts on hunters, hunting operations in range states, and businesses that support hunting of African lions have also been analysed.

This measure has been introduced in response to Australian public concerns about ‘canned hunting’ of African lions.

African lions are listed internationally on Appendix II of CITES. African lions are also protected under Australia’s national environmental law, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). In accordance with CITES Article XIV and the EPBC Act, Australia may introduce domestic measures that further restrict trade in CITES listed species.

The introduction of this measure means that trade in lion specimens to and from Australia, including trade in hunting trophies, will be restricted to a limited number of circumstances, for example, for conservation breeding or scientific purposes. Trade in hunting trophy specimens will not be allowed unless the specimens were obtained before the provisions of CITES came into effect for lions, i.e. the specimen is from an animal that was deceased prior to 1977.

Australian CITES import and export/re-export permits issued up to and including 12 March 2015 will remain valid for trade until the permit is used or expires (whichever occurs first).

Further information is available at http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/wildlife-trade/cites/stricter-measures/african-lion

Please direct any queries regarding the new measure to wildlife.communications@environment.gov.au

Yours Sincerely,

Ilse Kiessling
Acting Assistant Secretary
Wildlife Trade and Biosecurity Branch
Department of the Environment