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PRESS RELEASE: High Court rules in favour of NSPCA

PRESS RELEASE: 07 August 2019

BREAKING NEWS: South Africa’s High Court rules lion bone export quota ‘unlawful’

The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled in favour of lions and the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) in a ground-breaking judgement handed down yesterday. In the court case between the NSPCA, and the Department of Environmental Affairs and the South African Predator Breeders Association, Judge Jody Kollapen declared the exportation quotas of 800 lion bones in 2017 and 1,500 lion bones in 2018 to be “unlawful and constitutionally invalid”.

South Africa’s controversial lion bone trade came under scrutiny as more breeders and farmers seek to export their lion carcasses for use in traditional medicines, with the welfare of the animals taking a back seat.

Blood Lions Official Statement:

“Today is a good one for lions and all those opposed to the predator breeding, canned hunting and exploitative tourism industries. In this ruling handed down yesterday in favour of the NSPCA, the predator breeding industry and government can no longer ignore animal welfare considerations. The ruling also questions the unilateral decision-making process the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) had used with regards to awarding lion bone quotas. The NSPCA and all those that supported them deserve significant credit for following through with this case.

Other than those directly involved, which includes their hard-core ‘sustainable use’ sympathizers, every other stakeholder warned the then Minister against the 2017 and 2018 quotas. This ruling will hopefully spark an entirely new discussion around these horrific industries and the awarding of lion bone quotas.

It’s worth pointing out that the South African Predator Breeders Association (SAPA) do not speak for the majority of South Africans or the recognized lion conservation community, and that they are only concerned about the commercial interests of their tiny membership. In addition, past bone quotas were awarded without scientific merit or any welfare considerations, and it would seem the most recent research used by government agencies seems to have been done in order to justify quotas on a retrospective basis.

Blood Lions again calls for the ending of the exploitative breeding and use of predators under captive conditions. To this end, we call on the new Minister of the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Ms. Barbara Creecy to undertake industry-wide consultations, including with those within the welfare and wider lion conservation community.”

Click here to view the full High Court Judgement: 

Click here to read the NSPCA Official Statement:
Click here to read the Conservation Action Trust articles: