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BREAKING NEWS: SA Government releases policy document to end the captive lion breeding industry in South Africa

29 June 2021

Blood Lions Statement:

Minister Creecy of the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) has now released a draft Policy Position Gazette on the conservation and ecologically sustainable use of elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros. This document is based on the recent High-Level Panel report and its recommendations and is now open for public comment for the next 30 days.

In terms of captive lions, the draft policy position provides a solid foundation for South Africa to move away from exploitative wildlife practices. Amongst others, it recognises that:

  • the domestication of our iconic lion threatens South Africa’s reputation as a conservation leader.
  • the commodification of lions can damage our tourism brand.
  • the trade in lion derivatives poses major risks to wild lion populations.
  • the captive lion breeding industry is not in the wider public’s interest.

Significantly, it acknowledges that we have a social and moral responsibility to act humanely, prevent suffering and ensure quality of life for those animals involved in the wildlife sector and suggests adopting the One Welfare approach. These are hugely positive first steps in shifting towards a more ethical and responsible South Africa.

Blood Lions fully supports the species management policy interventions for captive lions outlined in this draft policy position document, including but not limited to:

  • Immediately halt domestication and exploitation of lion, and close captive lion facilities.
  • Prevent live export ex situ of the iconic species (i.e. into captivity).
  • Increased wildness, naturalness, and wellbeing of fauna.
  • Adopt One Welfare approach.

We encourage all our supporters to comment on this draft Policy Position document through the appropriate channels and in particular your comments of support on the intended closure of the captive lion industry.

EVERY comment counts, including those of full support!

Deadline: Tuesday 27th July 2021
Comments FAO: Dr Kiruben Naicker

Draft Policy Position document: