This is an excerpt from an article written and published online by SA People News on 14 October, 2021

A weighty 75,504 global citizens (including at least 9,011 voices from South Africa) are calling on Minister Barbara Creecy and her Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) to implement the New Deal for People and Wildlife, as outlined in the draft Policy Position on the conservation and ecologically sustainable use of elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros, without further delay.

On 2 May 2021, Minister Creecy announced her proposal to adopt the vision outlined in the High-Level Panel’s report and its associated goals and recommendations, including the courageous step towards bringing an end to the commercial captive lion industry in South Africa.

In a submission to an extended call for comments on the draft Policy Position document, thousands of South Africans, voices from the African continent and beyond expressed their collective concern about the fate of South Africa’s biodiversity and iconic wildlife, and their support for the visionary draft Policy Position that seeks to redefine South Africa’s relationship with its wildlife.

The public are now asking the Minister to follow through on her promises and set ambitious and urgent time frames for the forward-looking goals outlined in the policy document, including:

  • To immediately halt the domestication and exploitation of lion, and the closure of captive lion facilities.
  • 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.