Blood Lions Tweet Storm – World Lion Day

WORLD LION DAY

Dear lion lovers

We need your help with a tweet storm to make a clear and urgent statement to the South African Government. It will be late if you live in Australia, but use TweetDeck to schedule your tweets.
Or using any social media…but remember the hashtags #800Lions #WorldLionDay

PLEASE NOTE – Blood Lions will lead the storm so no tweeting beforehand!

Content Plan for World Lion Day – 10th August 2020

800 Voices for 800 Lions

 

CAMPAIGN CONTEXT

This World Lion Day, Blood Lions and World Animal Protection have partnered to mobilise supporters and put pressure on the South African Government to set a zero CITES lion bone export quota. Our goal is to create a people-powered campaign that will empower South Africans (primarily) to take action and tell the government that in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the breeding and keeping of lions for commercial purposes is irresponsible and ecologically unsustainable. In addition, it damages South Africa’s conservation and tourism reputations.

The campaign title 800 Voices for 800 Lions aims to express through art the legal CITES export quota of 800 lion skeletons per year.

This campaign has three interlinked aspects that all aim towards urging the SA Government to set a zero CITES lion bone export quota, and supporting the global call to end the trade in wildlife at the G20 Summit.

The campaign will include a Twitter storm planned on World Lion Day (10 August), which will directly pressurize the government by directing specific questions and posts at the various government accounts.

 

CALL TO ACTION

As part of the campaign, a short educational video will be released on World Lion Day explaining the lion bone trade, the current quota situation in SA and describing our call to action.

We will be calling on people from around the world to submit their artwork (be it drawing, painting, photography, poetry, dance, music) in a visual representation of the 800 lions, which are slaughtered for their bones every year.

The goal is to submit 800 pieces of art to the SA government in the lead up to the G20 Summit to urge them to decide against a legal trade in big cat bones and body parts.

 

TWITTER STORM

This is where we need your help. The Twitter Storm aspect of this campaign aims to mobilise our conservation and global partners to pressurize the SA government to set a zero CITES lion bone export quota. We invite you to be part of this movement. Please note relevant Twitter chat questions and answers, as well as direct tweets are provided below, starting on page 3.

It will consist of 1 hour of well organised pressure on World Lion Day itself, where we will be posing questions to the relevant government accounts, essentially filling their Twitter notifications and feed with the topic, but also creating a general awareness around the issues.

Date:  10 August 2020

Time:  15h00 – 16h00 [South Africa time] facilitated by @Blood_Lions

Main hashtags:  #WorldLionDay #800Lions

It is essential to include these hashtags in ALL tweets, so people can follow and/or get involved in the conversation. In addition, we are aiming to get these hashtags to trend on the day.

Graphics: The attached graphics can be used with some of the tweets and will give you the option to tag up to 10 twitter accounts over and above the 280 characters per tweet.

 

Accounts to tag:                      

@BarbaraCreecy_         –           Minister of DEFF

@environmentza          –           Department of Environment

@SouthAfrica               –           SA Tourism

@sisantshona               –           CEO of SA Tourism

@Tourism_gov_za        –           Department of Tourism

@mmKubayiNgubane   –           Minister of Tourism

@DAFF_ZA                   –           Department of Agriculture

@HealthZA                   –           Department of Health

@DrZweliMkhize          –           Minister of Health

 

 PRE-WORLD LION DAY – SOCIAL MEDIA PLAN

Ahead of the World Lion Day Tweet storm, Blood Lions plans to release information to the public in the lead up to the event. Below is a loose plan that can be adopted in order to bring awareness to the Tweet storm before we go live:

 

Suggested Tweets:

On #WorldLionDay we will be participating in a Twitter chat to challenge South Africa’s lion bone export quota. Join us at 15h00 SAST or 16h00 EAT as we ask @BarbaraCreecy_ & @environmentza to set a zero CITES lion bone quota and put a permanent ban on the trade in lions. #800Lions

Why does @SouthAfrica support an industry that damages its reputation? Join us on #WorldLionDay at 15h00 SAST or 16h00 EAT as we pose these questions to Ministers of @GovernmentZA and ask @BarbaraCreecy_ to set a zero lion bone quota. #800Lions

Poor welfare conditions are a reality for lions in the commercial breeding industry. On #WorldLionDay, at 15h00 SAST or 16h00 EAT we are asking the South African Government to set a zero lion bone quota and put a permanent ban on the trade of lions. #800lions

Suggested Facebook & Instagram posts:

On #WorldLionDay we will be participating in a Twitter chat to challenge South Africa’s lion bone export quota.

Join us at 15h00 SAST or 16h00 EAT on Twitter as we pose a few questions and answers around the industry, and ask Minister Barbara Creecy of the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries to set a zero CITES lion bone quota. #800Lions

TAGS

– Blood Lions

– World Animal Protection Africa

– Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries

 

WORLD LION DAY TWITTER CHAT

The following questions and answers can be used to start the conversation on World Lion Day at 15.00 hrs SAST. Blood Lions will lead by tweeting the questions at the indicated times below and everybody can retweet the main question, followed by the various answers. Please note – times below are SA time!

The following questions and answers can be tweeted verbatim at the indicated times. The number of characters should not exceed the max 280 – if they do our apologies 😉

Please don’t forget to include the question and answer number in the tweet and our main hashtags, so people can follow the conversation: #WorldLionDay #800Lions

Feel free to add ANY answers on the day and hopefully we get the public to interact and ask further probing questions to be answered in real time. Please try and engage with the public.

 

QUESTION 1 – 15.00 HRS SAST (11pm Melbourne)

Q1 – What are lion bones used for? #WorldLionDay #800Lions

A1 – Lion bones are used to supplement tiger bones in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat ailments like arthritis, rheumatism, general weakness and headaches, with no credible evidence for the efficacy of the vast majority of these remedies. #WorldLionDay #800Lions

A1 – Lion bones are used to produce “tiger bone” wine that is often sold as a prestigious gift or a non-financial bribe. #WorldLionDay #800Lions

A1 – Lion bones are also boiled down to a glue-like substance to create a so-called lion bone cake that is consumed as a medicine in tea or wine, supposedly as an aphrodisiac. #WorldLionDay #800Lions

A1 – Lion bones are used to make into jewellery with pink bones being the most sought after. Pink bones are marketed as having been created by deboning the animal alive. #WorldLionDay #800Lions

A1 – In addition to bones, lion teeth and claws are used to create expensive jewellery. #WorldLionDay #800Lions

 

Direct campaigning tweets:

@DrZweliMkhize How can you indirectly support the export of lion bones from South Africa and back a form of medicine without credible or scientific proof it effectively cures ANY ailments? #WorldLionDay #800Lions

With scientific evidence of lions carrying zoonotic diseases, and with the world brought to its knees by #COVID19, is it ethical for @DrZweliMkhize and @BarbaraCreecy_ to allow the export of lion bones to continue? #WorldLionDay #800Lions

We treat our farm animals better than our iconic #lion. Makeshift lion slaughterhouses kill and process 100s of lions every year without any form of regulation and in the absence of welfare standards. @BarbaraCreecy_ @DAFF_ZA #WorldLionDay #800Lions

 

QUESTION 2 – 15.10 HRS SAST (11.10pm Melbourne)

Q2 – Where are lion bones exported to? #WorldLionDay #800Lions

A2 – The vast majority of exported lion skeletons (98%) are destined for Laos and Vietnam, which are known hubs for illegal wildlife trafficking, including ivory, rhino horn and pangolin. #WorldLionDay #800Lions

A2 – Lion bones may be legally exported to Laos and Vietnam, but are subsequently redistributed and mostly sold illegally to e.g. China and Thailand. #WorldLionDay #800Lions

A2 – The trade in lion bones legitimises the product among consumers in SE Asia and stimulates the demand for lion and tiger bones, compromising local enforcement efforts regarding the tiger trade. #WorldLionDay #800Lions

A2 – Lion bones are sold to SE Asia to supplement the tiger bone trade, keeping the desirability of tiger products alive, which is a huge problem for tiger conservation. #WorldLionDay #800Lions

 

Direct campaigning tweets:

The legal lion bone trade is damaging Brand SA. With tourism brought to a standstill by #COVID19, what are you planning to do to repair the damage of this abhorrent industry? @GoToSouthAfrica @sisantshona @Tourism_gov_za @mmKubayiNgubane #WorldLionDay #800Lions

@BarbaraCreecy_ What is the conservation value of the lion bone trade? What benefits does this trade provide this endangered species? #WorldLionDay #800lions

It is widely acknowledged that the illegal wildlife trade, involving notorious international crime syndicates, follows legal wildlife trade routes. Does South Africa enable the illegal trade in lion bones, @BarbaraCreecy_? #WorldLionDay #800lions

 

QUESTION 3 – 15.20 HRS SAST (11.20pm Melbourne)

Q3 – How many skeletons is South Africa able to export per year? #WorldLionDay #800Lions

A3 – South Africa has set a lion bone quota of 800 skeletons per year in 2017 & 2018, which lacked a sound scientific basis and was driven solely by the economic principle of supply and demand. #WorldLionDay #800Lions

A3 – More than TWO lions per DAY are slaughtered legally for their bones for Traditional Chinese Medicine. #WorldLionDay #800Lions

A3 – South Africa is able to set any lion bone quota, as long as the skeletons originate from the captive lion population. #WorldLionDay #800Lions

A3 – It is believed that South African lion breeders produce more lion skeletons than the set quota and have built up lion bone stockpiles. #WorldLionDay #800Lions

A3 – Even though the lion bone trade is perceived to be a “by-product” of the trophy hunting industry, 90% of all exported skeletons include the skulls, indicating that many facilities breed purely to supply the bone trade. #WorldLionDay #800Lions

 

Direct campaigning tweets:

As @environmentza has been unable to set a lion bone export quota in 2019 & 2020, isn’t it time to make this “zero quota” permanent, Minister @BarbaraCreecy_? #WorldLionDay #800Lions

Considering the current #COVID19 pandemic and the potential for further zoonotic disease spill-over from the captive predator breeding industry, Minister @BarbaraCreecy_ isn’t it time to put an end to this industry? #WorldLionDay #800Lions

Considering the damage the #COVID19 pandemic has brought on the tourism industry, shouldn’t we avoid ANY reputational damage to Brand SA from the captive predator breeding industry, Minister @mmKubayiNgubane @SouthAfrica @sisantshona @Tourism_gov_za ? #WorldLionDay #800Lions

 

QUESTION 4 – 15.30 HRS SAST (11.30pm Melbourne)

Q4 – What does the lion bone trade mean in terms of animal welfare? #WorldLionDay #800Lions

A4 – The intensive captive breeding and keeping of lions creates serious welfare concerns, especially when only their bones are used, so there is no incentive to keep them healthy. #WorldLionDay #800Lions

A4 – With the increasing profit-driven commodification of lion products, in many cases even the most basic needs, such as water, food, shelter and medical care, are lacking. #WorldLionDay #800Lions

A4 – Pop-up lion slaughterhouses have been established to facilitate the mass slaughter of lions to supply skeletons for international trade with no regulations in place, thus creating a range of welfare concerns. #WorldLionDay #800Lions

A4 – Captive wildlife populations are at risk from disease, especially when these populations are kept in small and overcrowded enclosures, increasing the risk of zoonosis, such as lion TB. #WorldLionDay #800Lions

A4 – @environmentza has repeatedly stated that welfare of wild animals in captivity is not their mandate, and that this falls under the ambit of @DAFF_ZA. In turn, DALRRD passes the buck to the provincial authorities. #WorldLionDay #800Lions

 

Direct campaigning tweets:

How is Minister @BarbaraCreecy_ planning to improve the welfare of South Africa’s captive lions, in line with Judge Kollapen’s ruling that the setting of the lion bone quota in 2017 & 2018 is “unlawful and constitutionally invalid” #WorldLionDay #800Lions

Minister Didiza, when is the Department of Agriculture @DAFF_ZA going to create norms and standards for the captive breeding and keeping of big cats in South Africa? Your Department has been working on this since 2016. @BarbaraCreecy_ #WorldLionDay #800Lions

How can South Africa allow the welfare atrocities linked to the captive lion breeding industry to continue? @BarbaraCreecy_ @DAFF_ZA @mmKubayiNgubane @SouthAfrica @sisantshona @Tourism_gov_za @environmentza ? #WorldLionDay #800Lions

 

QUESTION 5 – 15.40 HRS SAST (11.40pm Melbourne)

Q5 – Why is South Africa able to set a legal lion bone quota through CITES? #WorldLionDay #800Lions

A5 – In 2016, at @CITES CoP17 an annotation was agreed to Panthera leo Appendix II. Although a zero quota remains for wild lions, an annual quota derived from the captive lion population in South Africa is now allowed. #WorldLionDay #800Lions

A5 – In addition to lion bones, South Africa is also allowed to export bone products, claws, skulls and teeth from the captive lion population. #WorldLionDay #800Lions

A5 – In August 2019, in the High Court case NSPCA vs DEA and SAPA, Judge Kollapen ruled that the setting of the lion bone quota in 2017 & 2018 is “unlawful and constitutionally invalid”. #WorldLionDay #800Lions

A5 – Judge Kollapen stated that “….it is inconceivable that the State Respondents could have ignored welfare considerations of lions in captivity in setting the annual export quota.” #WorldLionDay #800Lions

 

Direct campaigning tweets:

@BarbaraCreecy_ what factors were taken into account before the lion bone CITES quotas were historically set? And how is this going to change? #WorldLionDay #800lions

Have any lion bones been exported in 2019/2020 by South Africa, Minister @BarbaraCreecy_? If so, how is this possible without a quota in place? @environmentza #WorldLionDay #800lions

How can South Africa allow a commercial trade that reduces its iconic #lion species to body parts sold off as TCM, décor, rugs, jewellery and other trinkets? @BarbaraCreecy_ @DAFF_ZA @mmKubayiNgubane @SouthAfrica @sisantshona @Tourism_gov_za @environmentza #WorldLionDay #800Lions

 

MORE CAMPAIGNING TWEETS

These can be used by the youth WAP will engage with to push the conversation further.

An official number of 8,000, but most likely 10,000–12,000 lions are kept in captivity in South Africa. This is 3–4 times more lions than exist in the wild in SA. If nothing is done soon, lions in the wild could go extinct by 2050. #WorldLionDay #800Lions

Strength. Courage. Resilience. Traits we can learn from lions. Unfortunately, the wildlife trade has reduced them to victims of adversity. We are asking the South African government to set a zero CITES lion bone export quota #WorldLionDay #800Lions

Between 1993–2014, lion numbers in Africa have dropped 43%. Poaching of wild lions for their body parts is one of the major threats to wild lion populations. Join us to urge the South African government to set a zero CITES lion bone export quota #WorldLionDay #800Lions

The South African lion bone export quota was #800Lions per year. That is more than 2 lions killed every day for the legal trade in their bones. We urge @BarbaraCreecy_ to set a permanent zero export quota. @SouthAfrica @sisantshona @Tourism_gov_za #WorldLionDay #800Lions

The global trade of wild animals, such as lions is cruel and puts public health and the world economy at risk, like COVID-19. Join us in calling on South Africa to support and champion a global ban on the wildlife trade #EndWildlifeTrade via @MoveTheWorldAF

Imagine being in lockdown for life, simply to be killed for profit. That is the everyday reality for South Africa’s captive lions. We are asking South Africa to move to a zero lion bone quota. @BarbaraCreecy_ @environmentza @DAFF_ZA @DrZweliMkhize #WorldLionDay #800Lions

This #WorldLionDay, be the voice for our lions and take action. Together we can move South Africa’s leaders to set a zero lion bone export quota. @BarbaraCreecy_ @environmentza @DAFF_ZA @DrZweliMkhize @SouthAfrica @sisantshona @Tourism_gov_za #800Lions

 

Images you can use.