On the 2nd of May 2021 Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment, Barbara Creecy, released the report from the High Level Panel (HLP) of experts, which was appointed in 2019, to review policies, regulatory measures, practices and policy positions that relate to the hunting, trade, captive keeping, management and handling of elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros in South Africa.
The decision to appoint a panel of experts was taken as a result of the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs Colloquium that was held in Parliament in August 2018 on Captive Lion Breeding. Parliament adopted the findings of Portfolio Committee Report whose overall view was that the captive lion breeding industry did not contribute to conservation and was doing damage to South Africa’s conservation and tourism reputation.
The High Level Panel of Experts was asked to review the lion breeding industry, the rhino horn trade, rhino poaching, the elephant ivory trade, trophy hunting, the trade in leopard skins for religious and traditional use.
The HLP submitted a 600-page report to Minister Creecy and to the Cabinet in December 2020. This report was duly accepted and approved for release and implementation.
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