lion bone trade - complete lion skeleton
Lion Bone Trade – Poacher caught with a lion skeleton

Lion bone trade is a relatively new revenue stream for the lion breeding industry. And it isn’t a by-product of canned hunting anymore. The reckless exploitation of the lions, whose lives begin as petting cubs for local and international tourists, who are being walked like dogs, before becoming too large to pet and too tame for the wild… and are relocated to farms where hunters pay exorbitant fees to kill them, does not end at that point.

Squeezing the last drop out of the lions, the lion farmers are now hawking their bones to the Asian market. Lions’  bones are sold to make fake tiger cake for medicinal purposes, regardless of the fact that there is no medicinal value in them. These bones fetch millions of dollars.

Money, money, money

The connection between these areas of operations is easy to determine.
But the business has changed recently. While some time ago proud hunters could bring their trophies home, this has now become almost impossible. As a result, the rates for a canned hunt (that were already at a third of a “real” hunt) went down. Some breeders even offered them for free.

In opposition to that, the trade in lion bones developed to a fully fledged business segment. According to the CASH BEFORE CONSERVATION report, bones are sold at costly rates:
“The price being paid to South African farmers/landowners by the bone agents in 2013 was ZAR12,000 to ZAR15,000 (USD1,260 to USD1,560) per set without skulls, and up to ZAR18,000 to ZAR20,000 (USD1,890 to USD2,100) with skulls (depending on the size of the skeleton)”, the report states. “Thereafter, the bone agents charge the importers a fee of about ZAR3,000 (USD315) per set.”

As a recent article in the Daily Maverick noted, “an irony at the heart of the tiger bone trade is that, in Asia, lion bones are being used in fake tiger bone wine, while in South Africa tiger bones are being faked as lion bones because the DEA has licensed lion bone export.” *

According to the THE-EXTINCTION-BUSINESS-Report, there is evidence that the legal sale of lion bones masks the illegal trade. Above all, given that the captive breeding of tiger in South Africa is unregulated and growing, and that provincial conservation authorities are aware that the demand to “euthanize” tigers is dramatically increasing, the probability is high that bones from CITES Appendix I tigers, bred in captivity in South Africa are being laundered as lion bones using CITES Appendix II permits.

In China, lion bone is now being sold at about three times the price of wild tiger bone. 


From: THE-EXTINCTION-BUSINESS-South-Africas-lion-bone-trade - EMS Foundation and Ban Animal Trading
From: THE EXTINCTION BUSINESS South Africas lion bone trade Report

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