This is an excerpt from an article written by Nica Richards and published online by The Citizen on 29 June, 2021

A draft policy position gazette on the conservation and sustainable use of lions, elephant, leopard and rhino is out for public comment.

Following the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment’s (DFFE’s) announcement in May that commercial captive lion breeding would no longer be allowed, an encouraging draft policy has been released. 

DFFE Minister Barbara Creecy took the momentous step on 2 May to outlaw captive lion breeding, keeping lions in captivity and halting the commercial use of lions or their derivatives. 

In layman’s terms, this means lion bones will no longer be sold and the hunting of captive-bred lions will stop, as well as using captive-bred lions for tourist attractions such as cub petting and “voluntourism”. 

The decision was made after drawn out discussions by a high-level panel. Recommendations were proposed after 62.5% of the panel agreed the practice was cruel and should be outlawed. 

The panel concluded in May that captive lion breeding harms the sustainability of wild lion populations and conservation efforts, and also impacts negatively on the country’s ecotourism ventures.