More must be done to address trafficking of South African endangered species to China

Issued by Dave Bryant MP – DA Shadow Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment
09 Mar 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Dave Bryant MP.

The DA has noted the response by Minister Barbara Creecy regarding steps being taken to address the ongoing trafficking of endangered species to China. The Minister has confirmed that the species most at risk from the international smuggling to China are rhinoceros, abalone and succulents. There is a plethora of other species also at risk, including pangolin and captive bred lions which are farmed for their bones to be used in traditional Chinese medicine.

The DA is fully in support of the steps taken by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to form a joint task force with SA to investigate the financing of this illegal wildlife trafficking. The DA has long been calling for increased cooperation between the DFFE and Interpol to address these syndicates and it is heartening to see that steps are now being taken to address the ongoing trafficking of wildlife to China.

Whilst the task force is welcomed, the international syndicates continue to operate, putting South Africa’s critically endangered species at risk.

The ANC must take urgent steps to increase pressure on the Chinese government in order to compel them to impose stricter regulations on the trade in illegally trafficked wildlife. This is unlikely to happen though, due to the ANC’s cosy relationship with the Chinese Communist Party and their obvious lack of appetite to stand up to China on issues of global importance.