Today is a good day for everyone who has been campaigning to end captive lion breeding in South Africa; Government confirms they will bring it to an end.
South Africa (03 May 2021) – It is a good day for conservationists and animal rights activists in South Africa. Minister Barbara Creecy of the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) has instructed her department to start the process of ending captive lion breeding in South Africa.
This is a massive win for the team at Blood Lions that have worked tirelessly to raise awareness about the industry and have advocated to have it ended since 2015.
The Blood Lions campaign was launched following the release of the Blood Lions feature film documentary in July 2015. Currently, in South Africa, an estimated 10 000 – 12 000 predators, mostly lions, tigers, caracals and cheetahs, are held in captivity for commercial purposes. Many are used in exploitative tourism activities, such as cub petting, ‘walking with lions’ attractions, as photo props, and in voluntourism. The next stages in their short and unethical lifecycle are the captive (“canned”) hunting for their trophies and/or the legal export of lion bones to South East Asia for traditional medicine, contributing further to the escalating commoditisation of these wild animals.
The mission of the Blood Lions Campaign has been to reach a broad global audience to increase awareness and knowledge around interactive captivity wildlife attractions and “canned” hunting, demonstrating that these can never be sustainable tourism options. It is a “call to action” to not only affect behavioural change around how to treat wildlife ethically but also to precipitate change in policy through garnering support from the world’s most influential individuals and organisations.
They released a statement sharing the good news.
“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.
What do you think about this very happy news?