Lion imports to be banned in the US?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by KuduKiller, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. KuduKiller

    KuduKiller AH Member

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    So I am not sure if this subject has been brought up before, if it was I couldn't find it. What are the rumors about the import on Lions to the US being banned? My taxidermist says he has heard from many people that possibly the ban might take hold later this year? Anyone hear any different or anything to that matter?

    I was thinking about possibly taking a Lion my next trip HOWEVER, I was wondering if I need to just put that thought in the back of my mind and consider something else? Granted I was only going to be able to hunt a female due to the money factor but a big cat is still on my wish list.

    Any info would be appreciated.
     
  2. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Its popular opinion over here too,kudu killer
    The bloke that does our taxidermy ,says that in 2016 , after the next cites meetings , that it is highly probable that wild lion hunting will be banned ........
    Thats the only thing ive been told , could be here say
     
  3. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    With our current administration, a USA ban could happen at any time.

    like the elephant ban imposed earlier this year.

    Like has been said by others if you want to hunt lion, do it sooner rather than later...
     
  4. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    If you can predict what the USFWS will do you are a true Mystic. The forethought and planning that went into the Zim/Tanz Elephant ban earlier this year being an excellent example of the zero notice consultation style.

    SCI:
    "Lions were not a major point of debate at this conference, and SCI and SCI Foundation were able to prevented any bans or reductions of trophy exports until the 2016 review. However, elephants, rhinos and lions will likely be major topics at the 17th Conference in 2016."
    The final act of the CITES meeting was to accept the invitation of South Africa to host the next meeting in 2016.

    Zambia Lion Project:

    Update on USFWS listing of African Lion

    On Wed 26th June 2013, USFWS held a workshop at their headquarters in Arlington, Virginia to gather additional information that they will use to inform their decision whether or not to list the African lion on the Endangered Species list.

    In attendance were the Director of the USFWS, the Chief USFWS Biologist in charge of the ESA listings, and other USFWS biologists working on this issue.

    Four scientists were invited to give formal presentations. These included Craig Packer (TZ lion researcher), Al Maki (SCIF), Jason Riggio (lead author of recent paper on savannah habitat decline and lion population estimates) and myself. John Jackson (Conservation Force) was also invited to give a presentation.

    Representatives (mostly lawyers) from each of the petitioning groups were also invited to give presentations -- these were International Fund for Animal Welfare, Humane Society of the US, and Born Free Foundation.

    In addition to the formal presentations, approx 15 observers from various organizations were present and free to ask questions.

    Overall, the workshop was conducted in a very civil fashion and we were complimented by USFWS for showing such 'professional behavior' (i.e. no food fights). This was stated sincerely -- one might imagine that Animal Rights groups in the same room as SCI talking about whether or not selectively shooting lions can help save the species could easily have gotten out of hand.

    The listing decision is presumably based on scientific factors. By the end of the day, it was quite clear that the science did not support the petitioners' claim that lions are "on the brink of extinction". While all agree that there are challenges to lion conservation (all stemming from human overpopulation = habitat loss, human/wildlife conflict, incidental capture in snares set for bushmeat), approx 32,000 lions still exist across Africa and there remain vast areas of suitable lion habitat -- much of which is contained (and protected) in hunting areas. Thus, scientifically speaking the lion does not constitute an "endangered" species.

    However, as we all know the petition was never put forth from a scientific standpoint -- it is a deep-seated emotional issue fueled by anti-hunting groups that wish to stop all hunting, specifically of lions. And unfortunately, politics are always susceptible to public sentiments. In other words, just because the science does not support the listing doesn't mean that it won't happen. It just means that the fight is far from over.

    What happens now?
    USFWS is still sorting through the more than 350,000 comments that it received during the 90-day review period. It will include the input gathered during this workshop into its consideration and is asking for any additional pertinent data to be provided by 31 July 2013.

    USFWS said in the workshop that they expect to make their decision on whether or not to list the lion by the beginning of 2014. At that time, they have several listing options:
    "Listing is not Warranted" (Don't list at all --not likely, due to public pressure and the situation for West African lions which are under a lot of threats)
    "Listing is Warranted"
    "Listing is Warranted but precluded" (by other species of higher priority. Lion would then be known as a "candidate species" and be re-evaluated every year. Very unlikely to happen given the lion's high profile)

    Once USFWS decide (beginning of 2014) if listing is warranted, they will then have an additional 60-day comment period and then make a final ruling as to whether the lion is listed as "Threatened" or "Endangered" status.

    As everyone is aware, a listing of "Endangered" would effectively block importation of lion trophies into the USA.

    DURING THE WORKSHOP, I SPECIFICALLY ASKED THE DIRECTOR OF USFWS IF THERE WOULD BE ANY DIFFERENT CONSIDERATION GIVEN TO CAPTIVE-BRED LIONS VERSUS WILD LIONS WITH REGARDS TROPHY IMPORTATION TO THE USA -- THE ANSWER IS 'NO'. ALL LION TROPHIES WOULD BE BANNED FROM IMPORT.

    It is pretty obvious why they would do this, as from an enforcement standpoint, USFWS would have no way to tell that a lion trophy had originated from a "wild" or "captive" source.

    And yes, this would effect trophies coming out of RSA as well. So, a listing of "Endangered" would effectively close the entire lion hunting industry to USA clients. Although the USFWS is a federal (American) entity, it may be anticipated that the EU countries would follow the USFWS's lead and adopt similar restrictions.


    Just as a reminder -- this is all separate from the proposal that was put forth to CITES by the same animal rights petitioners who are requesting that African lion be transferred from CITES Appendix II to Appendix I. The African lion was not discussed in detail during the most recent CITES CoP meeting (February 2013) as it is currently undergoing a CITES "Periodic Review" (somewhat similar to the USFWS 90-day review process). The Periodic Review is supposed to be completed during 2014 and will be reported on to the CITES Animal Committee, an internal committee which meets each year.

    It can be FULLY anticipated that African lion will be an agenda item at the next CITES CoP to held in 2016. Depending on the outcome of the USFWS decision, the CITES decision could be either an end-run by the animal rights groups to ban importation through CITES rather than ESA, or another nail in the coffin to lion hunting.

    Dr. Paula A. White
    Director, Zambia Lion Project
    Center for Tropical Research
    University of California, Los Angeles USA
    USA Cell: 831-521-1218
    Zambia Cell: +26 0978 093693
    e-mail: paw@carnivoreconservation.com

     
  5. KuduKiller

    KuduKiller AH Member

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    Thanks Brickburn, that is the article I needed to see. I guess I will wait and see but I will prepare for a Buffalo just in case.
     
  6. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    That´s a good idea, as you never know what the politicians will decide.
     
  7. vette447

    vette447 AH Member

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    This is a major concern that I have and mainly what prompted me to move my plans for a lion hunt in 2015 up to October of this year. It made it a lot more difficult to save up for and make plans in order to do it this year instead of next but I am just afraid that it may be a near "now or never" situation. Especially after the Tanzania and Zim Elephant ban came out earlier this year seemingly out of nowhere.
     

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