South Africa announced on May 2, 2021, its intention to ban the breeding of lions in captivity, either for hunting purposes or to allow tourists to pet lions, to promote the bigger picture. “authentic“from the ground.
A very lucrative sector
This decision was made in line with the recommendations of a commission appointed by the government to examine the rules governing the hunting, trade and captivity of lions, elephants, rhinos and leopards. The Commission says that “we must stop and reverse the domestication and breeding of captive lions“South African Environment Minister Barbara Creecy said at a news conference.”We no longer want captive breeding, hunting (farmed animals) in captivity, cuddling (lion cubs) in captivity, using lions in captivity“, the minister continued, specifying that the commission requested that the measure be”taken immediately to stop interactions between tourists and captured lionsThe decision, which has yet to be translated into law, is likely to meet with opposition from the highly lucrative lion breeding industry.
Fewer wild lions than farmed lions in South Africa
According to the association, 8,000 to 12,000 lions are bred on about 350 farms in South Africa for indoor hunting, bone trade, tourism or scientific research. According to the South African-based Endangered Wildlife Trust, only 3,500 lions live in the wild in the country. Hunting lions bred in captivity has long been a controversial topic in South Africa, and campaigns to ban the import of trophies from lions bred in recent years are gaining increasing support in the United States, Australia and several European countries.
“Legal and controlled hunting of emblematic species allowed by the regulatory framework will continue to be approved“, the minister stressed. The intention is to ensure that tourists are interested in”authentic wildlife hunting“do not go”do not hunt animals that have been taken out of the cage“, she explained. The international non-governmental organization World Animal Welfare welcomed the decision.”brave“.”It is a victory for wild animals“who will allow it”lions remain in the environment to which they belong: nature“, said Edith Kabesiime, campaign manager for Africa and the NGO.
It is recommended that phantom farming be phased out
The committee also recommended the phasing out of captive rhino farming and exploring the future use of rhino horn stock, whose trade has been subject to a moratorium since 1977. Rhino horn is prized in Asia for its alleged therapeutic virtues and poaching is a decimation of the species. About 80% of the world’s rhino population and over 300 rhino livestock live in South Africa. Barry York, vice president of the Association of Professional Hunters of South Africa and a member of the Rhino Owners Association, said these recommendations will not help save animals, but “lead to the destruction and eradication of our species“, theirs”extinction“.