April 05, 2024

South Africa: Government to End Captive Wildlife Breeding

Barbara Creecy, minister of South Africa’s Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment department, announced that the country will be taking steps to end the breeding of captive elephants, lions, leopards and rhinoceroses.

Creecy assembled a Ministerial Task Team (MTT) of industry experts who created an official 246-page report on exit options and pathways from the captive wildlife industry, focusing on lions in particular. After careful consideration and review, the Cabinet decided to proceed with the suggestions put forward.

“I am pleased to announce that Cabinet has endorsed the recommendations of the task team,” Creecy said as she addressed the media in Cape Town, Western Cape, on Wednesday, 3 April.

The MTT was appointed in December 2022 and conducted extensive research before it decided to recommend that the government close the captive breeding sector, specifically keeping lions captive for commercial hunting purposes and connected activities.

A roadmap has been created to pave the way for the closure of the industry, including a “voluntary exit” option, as the authorities attempt to navigate a myriad of challenges, including ethical, regulatory, conservation and economic concerns.

The report also expressed concern that steps should be taken to prevent other animals from taking the place of lions in wildlife trophy hunts.

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