Tuesday, 4 June 2013

South Africa: Zuma-lion bone advert contested by Avaaz

A campaign group has taken court action in South Africa over the removal of an advertisement urging President Jacob Zuma to ban the trade in lion bones.

The advert, showing a lioness looking down the barrel of a gun with Mr Zuma in the background, was removed from the main airport in Johannesburg last year.

Campaign group Avaaz said airport authorities violated freedom of expression by pulling down its advert.

Asia is a lucrative market for lion bones, used in traditional medicines.

Official statistics show that South Africa increased its export of lion bones by 250% between 2008 and 2010, Avaaz says.

It placed the advert at OR Tambo International airport to target tourists, it says.

Famous game parks
The Airports Company SA (Acsa) ordered its removal after nine days because of the potential "public relations disaster" for South Africa, the Johannesburg High Court heard, according to the South African Press Association (Sapa).

The advert said, "Our lions are being slaughtered to make bogus sex potions for Asia. Will President Zuma save them? Urge him to stop the deadly bone trade now."

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