This is an excerpt from an article written by Don Pinnock and published online by Daily Maverick on 02 May, 2021

In a seismic shift that will send shock waves through many areas of SA’s wildlife industry, the Cabinet has endorsed a report calling for the end of lion farming, captive lion hunting, cub-petting and the commercial farming of rhinos.

In an unprecedented move to reposition South Africa as a world leader in wildlife conservation, the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries has called for the protection of iconic wild animals to be prioritised over the cruelty of commercial exploitation.

The 580-page High-Level Panel (HLP) report is the result of nearly two years of often heated discussion and research by a panel of specialists assembled by Minister Barbara Creecy, with more than 70 written submissions from individuals and organisations. 

The minister accepted a panel majority finding that the treatment of, particularly, lions and rhinos was unacceptable and detrimental to the image of South Africa as a prime tourist destination. The report now awaits endorsement by Parliament.

The report will be applauded by a tourism industry battered by Covid-19 and worldwide criticism of canned hunting, and will be hotly contested by those involved in the exploitation of wildlife for reasons other than conservation.