Value additions to lion bones sold into the Traditional Chinese Medicine Market:
- Trophy hunter in SA books a lion ‘hunt’ of a captive borne cat for approximately U$ 8-25 000 dollar (the cost of hunting a female are a fraction of the cost of hunting a male)
- The taxidermist in collaboration with the hunting company arranges for the sale of the skeleton to a large scale buyer in Laos for U$ 1500 per skeleton
- The importer sells skeletons in bags to Vietnamese buyers for U$ 700-800 per kg ( a hundred kilo lion would yield about 18 kgs of bone) or a sales price of about U$ 15 000.
- Vietnamese buyers from Ha Tinh province buy the lion bones by the ton and make down payments in the hundred thousands of dollars
- Bones are shipped across the Laos - Vietnam border with no CITES permits and in contravention of the treaty
- In Vietnam a 15 kg skeleton of a lion is mixed with approx. 6 kgs of turtle shell, deer antler and monkey bone and then the boiled down in large pots over a three day period
- This yields approx. 6-7 kg of tiger cake which is then cut into chocolate like bars of 100 grams resulting into 60 or 70 portions which will be marketed as TIGER BONE CAKE.
- Each bar will be sold at a price of around U$ 1000 buyers who believe in the value of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the myth associated with the consumption of “tiger cake” which in most cases is added to a glass of rice wine.
The skeleton of U$ 1500 will have been turned in a value added on product (with the addition of some more bone material of other species) of some U$ 60-70 000.
Value added. More (repeats)....