This is an excerpt from an article published online by PML Daily on 03 May, 2021

Today at a stakeholder’s feedback meeting in Pretoria, Minister Creecy of the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) took crucial and long-awaited steps towards changing the status quo of the commercial captive lion breeding industry in South Africa.

Minister Barbara Creecy announced that South Africa will no longer breed captive lions, keep lions in captivity, or use captive lions or their derivatives commercially. She has instructed her Department to put processes in place to halt the sale of captive lion derivatives (including the appropriate disposal of existing lion bone stockpiles and lion bone from euthanised lions); the hunting of captive bred lions; tourist interactions with captive lions (including, so-called voluntourism, cub petting, etc). (p. 329 HLP report).

“The [High-Level] Panel identified that the captive lion breeding industry poses risks to the sustainability of wild lion conservation resulting from the negative impact on ecotourism, which funds lion conservation and conservation more broadly, the negative impact on the authentic wild hunting industry, and the risk that trade in lion parts poses to stimulating poaching and illegal trade”, said Minister Creecy in her announcement today.

The Department will be initiating processes to implement these majority recommendations by the High-Level Panel (HLP), established by the Minister in October 2019, in order to mitigate these risks and shift away from this abhorrent industry.

“Blood Lions has campaigned against this cruel and unethical industry and its spin-off activities for many years, and we are extremely happy by the Minister’s decision to bring an end to the commercial captive lion breeding industry”, says Dr Louise de Waal (Director and Campaign Manager of Blood Lions). “We commend the Minister in her decisive leadership, and we would welcome the chance to play a role in assisting her, the various Departments and entities in the phasing out process to come.”