This is an excerpt from an article written by Dr Louise de Waal of Blood Lions and published online by Conservation Action Trust on 03 March, 2020
Blood Lions Campaign
The Blood Lions goal is to bring an end to canned hunting and the exploitative breeding of lions and other predators on farms across South Africa. The multiple award-winning Blood Lions® feature documentary premiered in 2015. At the same time the Blood Lions Campaign was launched to create global awareness around the captive predator breeding, canned hunting and lion bone industries, as well as the related exploitative wildlife interactive tourism practices.
Captive Predator Population
South Africa is one of the only African countries that allows the breeding and keeping of predators in captivity for commercial purposes, including lions, cheetahs, leopards, caracals, servals, as well as exotic species such as tigers, jaguars, pumas and even ligers (crossbreed between lion and tiger).
In July 2019, the Minister of Environment, Forestry & Fisheries (DEFF) stated in response to Parliamentary questions that there are 366 captive facilities registered in South Africa in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (NEMBA): Threatened or Protected Species Regulations, 2007 (TOPS) holding a total of 7,979 lions in captivity.
Blood Lions believes that the captive predator population is highly underestimated. The captive lion population may be as high as 15,000 lions with 1,000s of other big cats that are bred and kept in captivity, including an estimated 800 – 1,000 cheetahs and 1,000 – 1,500 tigers. A large proportion of the captive predator facility are based in the North West and Free State provinces.