This is an excerpt from an article written by Nica Richards and published by The Citizen on 16 July, 2020
Conservation groups have accused the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries’ high-level panel of bias, saying they’re putting the lives of both the animals and workers at risk, and exposing them to possible diseases.
South Africa has a disproportionate captive versus wild lion population. There are currently an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 lions in captivity in more than 360 facilities throughout the country. This compared to around 3,000 wild lions left in South Africa.
It has been over nine months since a high-level panel (HLP) was formed by Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) minister Barbara Creecy, but since then the validity and efficacy of the panel has been brought into question, amid an extended call for public submissions on topics that are not being communicated.