By Chris Mercer.
The controversial sport of big game hunting is becoming popular among Chinese tycoons. More and more rich Asians are joining hunting expeditions in Africa and Canada. At least 100 Chinese tycoons have hunted overseas, with the number increasing.
W. Scott Lupien, an American who lives in China, founded I Love Hunting Club in Beijing. He led the first hunting group to South Africa in 2009. Lupien says there are two kinds of clients, with one type being the hunting enthusiast and the other being tycoons who have never hunted. Most his clients are bosses, executives and government officials. Wang Wei, a hunting broker since 2004 from Beijing Zheng An Travel Agency says most of these people are businessmen, usually at their 40s and 50s, idle and rich, love off-road vehicles, outdoor sports, and do not have psychological barrier to shoot.
ASIAN DEMOGRAPHICS, THE CULT OF LUXURY AND ITS AFTERMATH FOR ENDANGERED WILDLIFE – extract from Dex Kotze’s address to the recent Rhino trade conference.
China has already overtaken Japan as the second largest consumer nation of luxury products after the USA. There is more disposable income in China today than ever before and predictions are that China will boast a larger economy than the USA by 2025. The status of luxury goods has fueled an obsessive-compulsive behaviour for millions in Asia.
The number of ultra-wealthy Chinese is expected to grow 80% until 2023. This will exceed the billionaires in the UK, France, Switzerland and Russia combined. Wealthy consumers are on average 20 years younger in China than those in Japan or the USA.
At 120 million people, China’s affluent market is richer than its middle class. China’s middleclass is 250 million people and will grow to 600 million by 2020.
The ASEAN market is the third largest market after Europe and North America. Most of the ASEAN nations are involved in illegal wildlife crimes. Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia are all involved as consumer, transit or trafficking countries. Ho Chi Minh City will have a 173% increase of ultra wealthy persons over the next 10 years.
Asian activities in African wildlife crime, are fuelled by:
a. China’s economic expansion into Africa
b. China’s phenomenal economic growth over the last 15 years
c. Vietnam’s economic growth
d. Corrupt officials in range states, transit countries and destination countries
e. Weak laws pertaining to sentencing perpetrators of wildlife crimes
f. Weak laws pertaining to bail grants of arrested wildlife criminals
g. An obsessive-compulsive need for status and luxury goods amongst Asian nations.
h. Lack of political and diplomatic will on an international level.
Already there are hundreds of thousands of illegal Chinese immigrants in various African countries. The majority of arrests relating to wildlife crimes involve criminals of Asian origin.
S.A. LION EXPORT STATISTICS FOR 2012 – extract from Richard Hargreaves’ article on our website: http://www.cannedlion.org/blog.html
So what are we looking at here?
Basically well over 350 dead lions were exported from South Africa to Asia in 2012.
That’s about 150 more than the Minister said it was last December.
That’s also not including how ever many lions those 845kg of bones comprised….
The evidence is in that these dead lions are boiled down upon arrival in Asia and used in products passed off to unsuspecting customers as containing tiger bone. That’s a huge injection into the supply side of the Asian tiger bone trade that poses such a challenge to the survival of the world’s last 3,000 tigers.
The South African Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs previously advised that she would not ban the export of dead lions from South Africa to Asia, as she considered that "the lion bone trade from South Africa posed no threat to wild lions."
The Minister was recently asked if she will now ban the lion bone trade from South Africa owing to the dire threat that it poses to the world's last 3,000 wild tigers. Still she says no!
Will the complacency ever end before the last of the big cats is gone from the wild?