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SA tarnished by abusive captive lion industry on World Lion Day, says watchdog

This is an excerpt from an article published online by IOL on 11 August, 2020.

Cape Town – Humane Society International South Africa has highlighted the shocking fact that there almost four times more lions in cruel captivity in the country than there are in the wild.

On World Lion Day, it believes the government should be doing much more to alleviate the plight of an estimated 11 000 lions held captive in more than 300 facilities across the country, which are continually exposed to poor conditions and welfare standards, inhumane slaughter and pending cruelty cases.

Lions exist in only 8% of their former range and are suffering from a loss of habitat and prey, in addition to being decimated by trophy hunting, Humane Society International South Africa said.

“Like the pitiful circuses of old, the clock is ticking for this abusive industry and the South African government should be doing more to hasten its end,” said Audrey Delsink, wildlife director for Humane Society International-Africa.

“As consumers become increasingly aware of the cruel and exploitative practices in captive lion breeding and its spin-off industries, taking concrete steps to shut down this profit-driven, putrid trade would be a fitting way to honour World Lion Day.”

In addition to the serious welfare and conservation concerns, the Covid-19 pandemic has also placed the spotlight on infectious disease outbreaks linked to the wildlife trade.

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