Catherine Bearder MEP has met with members of the conservation charity LionAid to discuss how they can work together towards a ban on the import of lion trophies into the EU.
Catherine met with Dr Pieter Kat and Chris Macsween to hear about how African lions are increasingly threatened and endangered with over 90% decline in the past 50 years.
Lions in Africa have declined in numbers from 200,000 in the 1960's to less than 25,000 now. While such declines are influenced by a number of factors, such as habitat loss, diseases and conflicts with humans/livestock, Catherine Bearder believes that additional mortality factors such as sport hunting should be immediately removed. Catherine is calling for more action to be taken at international level to protect these species from extinction.
South East euro-MP Catherine Bearder, who joined LionAid in condemning the decision of the UK Independence Party to list a lion trophy in its fundraising auction at their party conference last month said:
"I will be inviting Pieter, Christine and their colleagues over to Brussels to meet with Janez Potočnik, the EU's Environment Commissioner so we can raise our concerns discuss the options for the future.
"Buying and selling trophies stimulates the market for more lions to be hunted. We need a complete ban on the sale of Lion skins as a first step to protecting them.
"I spent several years working in the African bush and have seen these magnificent animals up close. The small and declining numbers of sub-adult lion males remaining in Africa are being removed at an average of 650 per year and this cannot in any way be termed sustainable."