The National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) has applied for an urgent interdict in an attempt to stop the government from facilitating selling lion bones used in fake tiger bone wine and other questionable purposes, according to a Daily Maverick report, which notes the lion bone trade is the ugly side of the already discredited canned lion hunting industry.

Last year, the NSPCA filed notice to set aside the export quota of 800 lion skeletons. Before this could be reviewed, the Minister upped the annual quota for 2018 to 1 500. There are now reports of lion slaughter houses being set up to service the demand from Asian buyers, notes the DM.

The NSPCA says cruelty to lions is an inevitable consequence of the Department of Environmental Affairs’ misguided actions and is therefore ‘committed to fighting this decision in court to protect the lions of SA’.

In the interdict, it says there’s currently no legislation that regulates the keeping and slaughtering of lions. It points out that by fostering the trade in lion skeletons, the department is threatening the existence of wild lions in Africa by expanding a market which poachers will exploit.

Full Daily Maverick report