South Africa to phase out captive lion breeding

6 days ago

Because of your support, South Africa will no longer breed captive lions, keep lions in captivity, or use captive lions or their derivatives commercially.

By working together, we can ensure that lions remain where they belong – in the wild.

The win for wildlife was announced 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.

Currently, 8,000-12,000 lions and thousands of other big cats, including tigers and cheetahs, are bred and kept in captivity in more than 350 facilities in mostly the Free State, North West, Limpopo and Eastern Cape provinces. These predators are bred for commercial purposes, including interactive tourism, “canned” hunting, lion bone trade and live exports.

Edith Kabesiime, Wildlife Campaign Manager (Africa), World Animal Protection said:  
“Thousands of farmed lions are born into a life of misery in South Africa every year in cruel commercial breeding facilities. This latest move by the government of South Africa is courageous - taking the first steps in a commitment to long-lasting and meaningful change. This is a win for wildlife.  

 

“By working together, we can ensure that lions remain where they belong – in the wild. We stand ready to offer our expertise, working collaboratively with governments, NGOs and the tourism industry to find practical solutions.   

Blood Lions and the World Animal Protection together with many other stakeholders in the animal welfare and conservation sectors made a wealth of compelling science-based evidence available to the High Level Pannel (HPL) in written and oral submissions in 2020.

Reasons provided to phase out the commercial captive lion breeding industry in South Africa included among others the risk of zoonosis, animal welfare concerns, the unregulated nature of the industry, the fragmented policies pertaining this sector, as well as damage to South Africa’s tourism and conservation reputation and threats to the wild lion population from poaching.

Ian Michler and Pippa Hankinson Directors of Blood Lions said:

“Opposing this brutal industry has been a long journey. Our ultimate objective has always been to end the captive lion breeding industry, and after so many setbacks, we sense an important change in attitude. We applaud the Minister, her department and the HLP. Going forward, we hope to be of assistance to them in closing down the industry." 

 

Blood Lions and World Animal Protection congratulate the Minister on these bold steps and offer their full support in developing and implementing a responsible phase-out plan in order to ensure that the commercial predator breeding industry is successfully closed down in South Africa, once and for all.