CITES Dateline – Bangkok, Wednesday, March 6, 2013

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SCI and SCI Foundation Lion Strategy Pays Dividends

Today the meeting agreed to continue the review of the status of lions to the next CITES meeting, in two – three years.  This review is part of a strategy developed between SCI and SCI Foundation and several major lion range countries to prevent Kenya from making another proposal to put the lion on Appendix I at this time.  The data being gathered in this review will help to point SCI and SCI Foundation towards the solutions for lion conservation and lion hunting.  It can also be used in relation to the petition filed by animal rights groups to get the U.S. to list the lion as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.  SCI and SCI Foundation remain watchful for gamesmanship from the animal rights organizations to try to limit lion trophy exports while awaiting the results of the survey, but today’s decision makes that highly unlikely.

Tomorrow is Polar Bear and Rhino Day 

On Thursday the meeting will take up the U.S. proposal to list the polar bear on Appendix I and the Kenyan proposal to ban the export of southern white rhino hunting trophies.  SCI and SCI Foundation efforts have been intense, as have all the other players in the game.

SCI and SCI Foundation have good information that Kenya is trying last-ditch efforts to water down their rhino proposal to get some support, but the word is that they will introduce it so they can make some speeches and then withdraw it.

It looks like the U.S. will push forward with their polar bear proposal and put it to the vote.  Efforts by the European Union to craft a compromise between the U.S. and Canada appear to be failing.

The Little Guy gets Protected from Animal Rights Pressure

The Parties today decisively rejected attempts by the European Union and Mexico to take away the right for developing nations to use the secret ballot to protect themselves from undue pressure from Western protectionist groups.  The current rule requires only 10 Parties to support a motion to vote by secret ballot.  The EU wanted to require support from a majority of Parties before a secret ballot could be used.  The 10-supporter rule remains in place.  During the debates, many hunting countries made it clear that they needed this protection in order to be able to vote the way they thought was best for their people and their wildlife.

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