WHILE disappointed with Nebank’s decision to stop “financing any activity constituting captive breeding of mammalian predator species for hunting or the exotic pet trade”, the South African Predators’ Association (Sapa) said it will not challenge the financial institution’s position, for now.

Nedbank said it wouldnot fund the canned lion and predator breeding sector following its engagements with several affected and impacted stakeholders, especially the Endangered Wildlife Trust.

It is understood the bank’s management also watched the recentlyreleased documentary feature film, Blood Lions, which claims that at least two to three lions are killed daily in South Africa in canned hunts.

The filmmakers lauded Nedbank for the move, saying hunting captivebred lions had little to do with conservation.

While reports say the bank’s move followed consultations with those who will be affected by its decision, Sapa, whose mandate includes the promotion of “the interests of its members with the view of … maintaining a healthy and profitable predator breeding and hunting industry in congruence with national and international conservation principles and current national and provincial legislation”, says no such engagements had taken place with Nedbank.

“They arrived at the decision on the basis of those they consulted. We are doing our homework, which will justify, as and when it’s time, that they review their stand,” Sapa board member Kirsten Bank cans cash for predator breeding sector Nematandani, said.

He said his organisation had a point to prove to the public that it was .`contributing” to conservation.

“Captive-bred lions have drawn attention away from wild lions.

“So, instead of poaching or hunting wild lions, people focus on captivebred lions. That is why wild lions were not on Appendix 1 during the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites).”

Sapa invested in a study to prove that captive-bred lions added “value to conservation”.

Once this information is available, Sapa will be in a position “to challenge” decisions such as the Nedbank one.

Nematandani said while they accepted that there were many issues facing the industry, much had been done since 2012 to improve its image for the better, including helping with the conservation of wild lions in Zimbabwe.

Captive-bred lion hunting, which is a significant part of the biodiversity sector in the North West, was one of the topics at the recent Bokone Bophirima Mebala Ya Rona Biodiversity Conference in Pilanesberg, where calls were made for stakeholders to work together for the success of the multimillion-rand industry.

Nedbank’s Kedibone Molopyane said: “Our engagements were done through the Endangered Wildlife Trust to gain a better understanding of the issue and related regulations. We then took a decision not to finance any activity constituting captive breeding of mammalian predator species for hunting or the exotic pet trade.”