Answer – Sustainability of lion hunting trophy imports into EU – E-011937/2015

As indicated by the Honourable Member, in February 2015 the Commission amended the rules on the import into the EU of hunting trophies of various species, including the African lion. The aim of these changes is not to ban all imports of hunting trophies but to strengthen controls on these imports so as to ensure that they come from legal and sustainable sources.

The EU Scientific Review Group (SRG), which gathers scientific authorities from all EU Member States reviews information provided by the authorities of exporting countries as well as independent scientific research(1) in order to determine whether the trade in hunting trophies of endangered species represents a risk to populations of these species(2). Imports of such trophies to the EU can be suspended if such risks are identified by the SRG.

In accordance with these rules, imports into the EU of lion trophies from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, and Ethiopia are currently suspended. The SRG also agreed that imports from the Central African Republic, Mozambique, South Sudan, Sudan and Zambia will need to be scrutinised with great attention. The SRG reviewed the situation of imports from Zimbabwe in December 2014 and concluded, based on the scientific information available, that imports of lion trophies from that country were sustainable. The SRG will continue to monitor the situation carefully.

(1) See for example the scientific references available under the following report regarding lions: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/cites/pdf/reports/Review%20of%20Panthera%20leo%20from%20trading%20range%20States%20(public).pdf and the recent Red List assessment published by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/15951/0
(2) SRG decisions are available under the following link: http://www.speciesplus.net/#/taxon_concepts/6353/legal

Source: Africa