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Animal welfare bill being developed in isolation

This is an excerpt from an article written by Sheree Bega and published online by Mail & Guardian on 2 December, 2021

A giraffe that was decapitated in 2014 when a transporting vehicle moving the animal to a game farm drove under a low bridge in Pretoria; captive lions found neglected and starving on a lion farm in Limpopo and a lion “abattoir” in the Free State to feed the lion bone trade.

These are some examples of legislative shortcomings where standards for domestic animals are applied across the whole range of wild animals, with “often dire results”, according to a 22 November report on animal welfare by a parliamentary research unit.

It describes how a June 2018 joint report by the Centre for Environmental Rights and the Endangered Wildlife Trust found that the existing regulatory environment is inadequate to manage proliferating commercial private wildlife facilities. 

South Africa has split the animal welfare mandate between the department of forestry, fisheries and the environment (DFFE) and the department of agriculture, land reform and rural development (DALRRD). 

But various reports, according to the parliamentary document, have highlighted the inability of these departments to work together to regulate norms and standards relating to the welfare of wildlife in captivity.