There are currently no known scientific studies that have investigated lion’s health and diseases on commercial breeding farms in South Africa, making it difficult to adequately monitor, prevent or manage any potential health risks.
The welfare of captive bred lions falls through the legislative cracks, with welfare enforcement falling solely on the NSPCA – National Council of SPCAs.
This is a huge cause for concern, as welfare is often not a priority on these farms, especially where breeding happens to supply the lion bone trade. This creates the perfect conditions for zoonotic diseases to jump between captive lions and farm staff.
In order to curb health and welfare issues, the captive lion breeding industry in South Africa needs to be phased out.
Stop the interactions. Stop the trade.