JOHANNESBURG, 3 May 2021 – South Africa says it will clamp down on captive lion breeding after a study found that the practice harms conservation, wild animals, and tourism.
The recommendation comes from a 600-page report written by a commission put in place in 2019.
“What the majority report says, with regards to captive breeding of lions: it says we must halt and reverse the domestication of lions through captive breeding and keeping,” said Barbara Creecy, South Africa’s minister of forestry, fisheries, and the environment.
The report also calls for an end to hanging lions as well as ending cub petting.
It calls for a moratorium on the trade of lion derivatives such as bones.
The ministry will adopt all the recommendations of the report, said Barbara Creecy.
Recommendations were only adopted if they were endorsed by an overwhelming majority on the 26-member panel.
Global animal charity, World Animal Protection, called the announcement by a ministry “a win for wildlife”.
“We don’t want captive breeding, captive hunting, captive petting, captive use of lions and their derivative,” Creecy said of the panel report.
The panel was tasked with reviewing policies and regulations on lions, leopards, rhinos, and elephants.
On rhino horn and ivory stockpiles, the panel recommended negotiations with other southern African countries before determining whether they can be disposed of.
Environmentalists estimated that more than 8,000 lions are in captivity in South Africa, compared with only about 3,500 living in the wild.