This is an excerpt from an article written by Karen Singh and published online by IOL on 16 June, 2021

DURBAN: South African youth from the Youth For Lions campaign have voiced their support for the decision made by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment (DFFE), to put an end to captive lion breeding in the country.

Minister Barbara Creecy made the announcement to ban breeding lions in captivity for hunting last month.

This comes after the findings of the High-Level Panel (HLP) report, which recommended that South Africa should no longer breed captive lions, keep lions in captivity, or use captive lions or their derivatives commercially.

The aim of the Youth For Lions campaign, which is a is a sub-campaign of Blood Lions, is to educate the world’s youth about how cub petting, walking with predators and volunteering at predator farms is enabling and contributing to the wider captive predator breeding industry in South Africa.

Campaign co-ordinator Cath Jakins said the minister and the government were listening now more than ever before to the public discourse around these issues.

“We have been lobbying the government to make changes to their policies for years, so now that they have started listening and responding with positive action, we need to take the opportunity to thank them.

“We need them to know that this decision, as contentious as it may seem, is an extremely positive step in the right direction,” she said.