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CONFIRMATION OF THE SCALE OF THE CAPTIVE WILDLIFE INDUSTRY IN SOUTH AFRICA

Our combined detailed submission related to the lion, leopard, elephant and rhino. Our content also included important information relevant to all South Africans who have been adversely affected by the commodification of wildlife. 

Evidence of the content of these submissions is clearly illustrated in the published recommendations of the High-Level Panel Report which was published on the 2nd May 2021.

Neither the EMS Foundation or ALRSA have been invited to attend and partake in the first part of the aforementioned new policy process, yet.  We have formally objected to this exclusion.

PREPARING FOR THE PROCESSES REGARDING REVERSAL OF THE DOMESTICATION OF BIG CATS

Following the media conference on the 2nd May 2021, it has been widely published in the global media that Minister Creecy wants to halt and reverse the domestication of lions through captive breeding and keeping. 

Prior to the announcement and release of the Report from the High-Level Panel of Advisors, the EMS Foundation requested information from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment through the process of the Promotion of Access to Information Act the following information dated 28th April 2021 was requested:

  1. How many captive big cat breeding facilities are registered in South Africa.
  2. How many wildlife zoos are registered in terms of the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No.10 of 2004) threatened of protected species regulations 2007 in South Africa. 
  3. How many wildlife sanctuaries are registered in terms of NEMBA South Africa. 

We were interested to learn the following in response to our questions: 

  1. The number DFFE has on record is the same as 366 captive facilities of lions in captivity since 26th July 2019. 
  2. The only DFFE registered zoo in terms of TOPS is the National Zoological Gardens – Pretoria zoo. 
  3. DFFE has not registered any sanctuaries in terms of TOPS. 

We find it astonishing that the Provinces who issue the permits for the roadside wildlife zoos, the breeding facilities masquerading as sanctuaries, the legitimate wildlife sanctuary facilities have not passed this information on to the Minister. 

How can the national department and the Minister properly deal with this problematic industry if it does not know its true extent?

How can solutions be found or new policies be determined without the concrete evidence of the scale of the wildlife captive industry in South Africa? 

Image Credit: Ban Animal Trading 2021

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