Decisions Of The Scientific Review Group On Trade In Wild Fauna And Flora
Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 establishes a Scientific Review Group (SRG) consisting of representatives from the Member States’ Scientific Authorities. The role of the SRG is to examine scientific questions relating to the application of the Regulations and it has specific tasks relating to Articles 4.1.a, 4.2.a and 4.6 of the Regulation.
The Commission conveys opinions of the SRG to the Committee. Those relating to import controls are also published on the internet in a database managed for the Commission by UNEP-WCMC in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is understood that these opinions are also those of each Member State’s Scientific Authority and will be reflected in any opinion. These opinions will remain valid unless or until circumstances related to the trade or conservation status of the species change significantly.
The Scientific Review Group of the European Union took the following decisions relating to wild specimens (information current as of April 1st 2016) For a definition of SRG opinions click HERE.
• Negative opinion for import of specimens including hunting trophies of African Lion (Panthera leo) from Mozambique; recommendation based on the following guidelines: The species is in trade or is likely to be in trade, and introduction to the Community from the country of origin at current or anticipated levels of trade is likely to have a harmful effect on the conservation status of the species or the extent of the territory occupied by the species. (SRG 74th meeting 15 December 2015)
• Positive opinion confirmed for import of specimens including hunting trophies of African Lion (Panthera leo) from Tanzania (SRG 75th meeting 7 March 2016)
• Positive opinion for import of specimens including hunting trophies of African Lion (Panthera leo) from Zambia (SRG 75th meeting 7 March 2016, modified from a no opinion expressed at the SRG 73rd meeting 15 September 2016).
• Positive opinion for import of hunting trophies of African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) from Zambia (SRG 73rd meeting 15 September 2015).
• Negative opinion* for import of hunting trophies of African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) from Tanzania confirmed/maintained – NOT to be formalized in the Regulation prohibiting the introduction in the EU (SRG 75th meeting 7 March 2016).6
• Negative opinion* for import of hunting trophies of African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) from Mozambique confirmed/maintained – NOT to be formalized in the Regulation prohibiting the introduction in the EU (SRG 74th meeting 15 December 2015).1
• Positive opinion for import of specimens of Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) from Zimbabwe (W, R) (agreed on 25/01/16). All applications to be referred to SRG: The species is not currently (or is only rarely) in trade, but significant trade in relation to the conservation status of the species could be anticipated (SRG 74th meeting 15 December 2015) .
• Zimbabwe African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) and African Lion (Panthera leo) trophies have both a positive opinion of the SRG.
Hunters who want to import the trophies of the above mentioned species into the European Union are advised to supply prove of the date when the specimen was taken and check if the date of take was before the respective SRG opinion was formulated. This applies especially to Mozambique lions.
In this context readers should also take note that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on December 23, 2015, listed African lion from Western and Central Africa as “endangered” and Eastern and Southern as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. They also promulgated a “special rule” requiring an enhancement permit to import Eastern and Southern African lion. The enhancement import permit requirement became effective January 22, 2016. Furthermore, on March 15 2016, the USF&WS announced a 90 day finding on two petitions to up‐list all African elephant from “threatened” to “endangered.”
Hunter advocacy organization Conservation Force has developed a three‐year plan to reestablish import into the United States of lion trophies from Eastern and Southern Africa. In this context Conservation Force contracted consultants in Tanzania and Zambia assisting with answering questionnaires from the USF&WS. Conservation Force is also working with safari operators throughout Africa to develop Operator Enhancement Reports to submit to the USF&WS. These reports will provide hard data on the significant anti‐poaching, community assistance, and revenue benefits of hunting.
References & Explanations: SRG 73th Meeting (15 September 2015), SRG 74th Meeting (15th December 2015), SRG 75th Meeting (7th March 2016) (The negative opinion for African Elephant trophies originating from Tanzania and Mozambique was formulated at the 72nd Meeting of the SRG on 2 July 2015. A negative opinion for the same species originating from Zambia was formulated at the 71st Meeting of the SRG (9 April 2015) and then withdrawn at the 73rd Meeting of the SRG)