This is an excerpt from an article written by David Henning and published online by Getaway on 15 October, 2021

Blood Lions, along with other animal rights partner organisations, have sent out an open letter, along with a petition signed by more than 75 000 people, urging Minister of Environmental Affairs, Barbara Creecy, to plan for a ‘New Deal for People and WIldlife.’ The full press release is below.

‘Dear Honourable Minister Creecy and Dr Naicker,

NEW DEAL FOR PEOPLE AND WILDLIFE

As global citizens concerned about the fate of South Africa’s biodiversity and iconic wildlife, we write in support of your transformational draft Policy Position on the conservation and ecologically sustainable use of elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros and call on you to set ambitious and urgent time frames:

  • To immediately halt the domestication and exploitation of lions, as well as implement the closure of captive lion facilities with due consideration for the welfare of the animals affected.
  • To reverse the domestication and intensification of management of rhino.
  • To prohibit ivory and rhino horn trade under current conditions
  • To restrict ex-situ live export of the iconic species.
  • To implement an increased wildness, naturalness and wellbeing of fauna focus.
  • To adopt the One Welfare approach.
  • To embrace a transformative African approach to conservation and ecologically sustainable use, consistent with Ubuntu.

These progressive and ambitious goals are supported not only by Humane Society International, World Animal Protection, Born Free Foundation, Blood Lions, and FOUR PAWS, but also by 75,504 global citizens, including at least 9,011 South African voices, who recognise that these goals are required to ensure a vibrant, inclusive transformation of the wildlife sector, rural socio-economic development and the safeguarding of our iconic species.