The newly published peer-reviewed paper by Blood Lions and World Animal Protection highlighted the fact that South Africa has no national welfare norms and standards for the captive breeding, keeping and trade of lions and other large felids.

Therefore, lions and other big cats are at risk of a wide range of both physical and mental welfare challenges. 

The lack of income for captive wildlife facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the absence of national welfare norms and standards for the captive breeding, keeping and trade of lions and other big cats in South Africa, has put the existing big cats in captivity at even more risk of serious welfare issues. 

In addition, the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA), which is solely mandated with the enforcement of animal welfare in South Africa, is forced to operate without financial support from the national government

It is time for South Africa to #CancelCaptivity.