The EMS Foundation and Animal Law Reform South Africa – Answers to the DEFF High Level Panel Written Questions

1st November 2020


The Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries appointed a “High Level Panel of Experts for the Review of Policies, Legislation and Practices on Matters of Elephant, Lion, Leopard and Rhinoceros Management: Breeding, Hunting, Trade and Handling” (“HLP” or “Panel”) in October 2019. The Panel made a call for submissions from stakeholders on 27 March 2020.

The EMS Foundation (“EMS”) and Animal Law Reform South Africa (“ALRSA”) (hereinafter collectively “we” or “us”) made a formal written submission (the “Submission”) to the HLP on 15 June 2020. We also made a virtual presentation at the public consultation held by the HLP on 6 October 2020 and answered questions orally (the “Oral Presentation”) (collectively our “Submissions”).

In this regard, we wish to refer to Appendix III of our Submission, being a copy of the written submission presented by the South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights and International Law, a centre of the University of Johannesburg (“SAIFAC”) as well as their virtual presentation at the public consultation held by the HLP on 6 October 2020 and their questions answered (“SAIFAC Submission”).

The Secretariat of the HLP sent further questions to EMS and ALRSA at 15h13 on the 20 October 2020. These are reproduced below in bold text. The Panel requested that answers be submitted by 26 October 2020, effectively giving EMS and ALRSA less than 5 working days to formulate further responses to over 15 highly complex questions (the “Questions”). Note that both EMS and ALRSA had other prior commitments particularly at this time and our capacity to respond at this time. In terms of an email from the HLP Secretariat to us dated 25 October 2020, the Panel agreed to accept answers by 2 November 2020.

The answers below therefore constitute a brief and non-exhaustive summary of EMS’ and ALRSA’s position on these issues given the prevailing circumstances at the current time. This document is to be read with our full Submission as well as in the context of the Oral Presentation.

We also wish to note that:
1. We have answered some of these questions in our Submissions;
2. Many of the questions received from the HLP are suggestive of a slant in favour of a pre-determined outcome and against the tenor of our submissions. Some of the questions make assumptions that are simply not accurate; and
3. Reference is made in the questions to “wildlife”. We were under the impression that the HLP was reviewing for “Subject Species” being – lions, elephants, rhinos and leopards.

We are non-profit organisations not mandated to determine all potential solutions to the issues considered by the Panel nor wildlife more generally in South Africa. We have pointed out issues with the current status quo, as well as provided potential solutions which will require further input and consideration. Accordingly, we have attempted to highlight some additional resources for the Panel which may be of assistance in providing further context and information. These are in addition to those included in our Submission and Oral Presentation.

We have included some clarifying points and questions below in order to properly equip us to answer the questions posed. These are indicated as “Clarificatory Question for the Panel:” below.

The disclaimers as contained in our Submission apply equally to this document with the necessary adjustments.

Michele Pickover

EMS Foundation

Amy P. Wilson

Animal Law Reform South Africa


© 2020 EMS Foundation. All rights reserved





“A classic example of entrenched white privilege is the Associated Private Nature Reserves in South Africa, bordering the world-renown Kruger National Park.

The six private reserves each comprise a number of different private owners and farms. By 1996, these reserves had almost no elephants left as they had been hunted to near extinction. The fences were dropped in 1993, before the end of apartheid, on the premise of creating ‘ecological unity’ between the APNR and the KNP.

Far from creating ecological unity, however, these wild animals are treated as ‘res nullius’, nobody’s property, in the APNR and are hunted. In 2019 the APNR approved the commercial hunting of 47 elephant bulls.

These animals are part of the country’s national heritage but are permitted to be shot by foreign trophy hunters for the benefit of a small number of wealthy white landowners. Tellingly, governance breaches in the APNR abound. How much money actually accrues to the local communities remains unknown due to a lack of transparency in the industry.”


© Copyright EMS Foundation 2020. All rights reserved.



Presentation: Chief Stephen Fritz

Chief Of The South Peninsula Khoisan Nation Council

Chief Stephen Fritz is Member of the South Peninsula Customary Khoisan Council

He speaks about the crucial role of elephants in the Khoi culture and for the survival of the Khoisan Nation

© Copyright EMS Foundation 2019. All rights reserved.



Presentation: Dr Gay Bradshaw

Kerulos Centre for Nonviolence

Dr Gay Bradshaw holds doctorate degrees in both ecology and psychology

She holds a Master’s in geophysics

Her research expertise focuses on the sources and healing of human-caused violence to Animals.

She was first to diagnose Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in free living Elephants and Chimpanzees.  

She speaks about how epigenetics and neuroscience dictate the transformation of conservation into self-determination of elephants

© Copyright EMS Foundation 2019. All rights reserved.



Presentation: Jim Karani


Jim Karani is Africa’s first Animal lawyer and an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya

He speaks about policy contexts including trade in Elephants and the CITES “acceptable destinations”

© Copyright EMS Foundation 2019. All rights reserved.



EMS Foundation

PO Box 3018, Honeydew 2040
South Africa
168-304 NPO

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