Shock reversal of Parliamentary Resolution on Captive Lion Breeding

Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) rejects Portfolio Committee’s Resolution to end the Captive Breeding of Lions.

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) proposed that the Captive Lion Breeding (CLB) industry should continue as long as it is properly regulated and appropriate legislation introduced, at the Portfolio Committee of Environmental Affairs (PCEA) briefing on 12th March on the implementation of the Committee’s Report in respect of CLB.

This ignores the PCEA resolutions from the two-day Parliamentary Colloquium on CLB in August 2018, which included the resolution (9.1) specifying that the “DEA should as a matter of urgency initiate a policy and legislative review of CBL for hunting and lion bone trade with a view of putting an end to this practice”. This resolution was subsequently adopted by parliament making it a Parliamentary Resolution.

Currently, South Africa is holding between 9,000-12,000 lions in captivity, in approximately 300 facilities for a number of commercial purposes, including canned hunting, breeding and the lion bone trade.

Captive lion breeding

In a shocking reversal of the overwhelming condemnation of CLB expressed during the August Colloquium by a wide range of conservation and welfare experts and forcefully endorsed in the PCEA report thereon, DEA merely reiterated the same tired justifications for CLB as if the Colloquium had never taken place.

DEA now only plans to introduce legislation to restrict permits to CLB facilities “that can demonstrate how the breeding in captivity of such specimens will contribute to the conservation of the particular species…”. Despite the fact that the overall consensus during the Colloquium in August 2018 was that there is generally no conservation value in CLB in South Africa.

During last week’s meeting, DEA reported that of the 227 breeding facilities inspected in the Free State, Limpopo, North West and Eastern Cape, nearly 40% (88 facilities) were non-compliant with, among others, the Threatened or Protected Species (TOPS) Regulations.

In the Free State of the 111 facilities inspected, 62 were found to be in non-compliance with TOPS Regulations. Most facilities were also found to be operating with expired permits. All permits were however renewed without providing reasons for renewal.

DEA further reported (incorrectly) that activities involving petting and walking with big cats are not allowed in the Free State and Western Cape, and therefore no permits were issued to facilities to conduct such activities. However, there are many facilities in both provinces that offer these exploitative activities to thousands of tourists and volunteers.  

The welfare of wild animals falls between the mandates of DEA and DAFF with neither willing to assume responsibility, so the PCEA resolved (9.3) included that “DEA and DAFF should present a clear programme of work on how they intend to address animal welfare and health issues”.

DEA inspections are only TOPS compliance checks in conjunction with provincial authorities and the inspectors are not trained to carry out welfare inspections. Furthermore, DEA only has four inspectors to cover the entire country and admitted they were under resourced.

The NSPCA is the sole organisation mandated to carry out welfare inspections however neither the NSPCA nor PCEA has been able to obtain a full list of CLB facilities from DEA.

Blood Lions, a leading organisation that works to end the captive lion breeding, canned hunting and lion bone trade industries in South Africa, is deeply concerned by the outcome of the recent briefing.

DEA’s recommendation to regulate an industry, which has been thriving for over 20 years already under so called ‘governance’, is proof of ineffective legislation and poor regulation.

Blood Lions urges DEA to follow the sound resolutions made in the PCEA Colloquium report, which included this vital statement advising DEA to “urgently initiate a policy and legislative review of the Captive Breeding of lions for hunting and the lion bone trade with a view to putting an end to this practice”.


Also featured in The Witness on 25th March 2019.

17 comments

  • Brenda McTaggart

    We have to learn to share this planet with all the other species on it. The greed and narcissistic tendencies of people lacking in empathy and fuelled by the untamed love of cruelty and sheer disregard for other sentient beings has no place in the 21st century. The practice of trophy hunting for fun is not a sport and is outdated, appalling and barbaric behaviour that cannot be allowed to continue. I implore you to rethink your laws… the measure of a country is how they treat their animals.. wild animals are not ours to torture and delete.

    Kind regards Brenda

  • Sickening that they did this, stop this canned hunting and put those in jail who participate in it!

  • Brenda said it so well….What a horrific life for these innocent creatures at the hands of greedy, third world heartless sub-humans!

  • sues.crewe@sky.com

    So right what Brenda Mc. says, the greed, lack of empathy, and humanity that gallops through today’s society is sickening! Laws need to be re considered and most definitely changed…There is no fun, in killing and where for some there is we have to realise that this is not right, if you think about the psychology of someone who kills for fun then you have to link this to mental instability to say the least, think about serial killers and think what is the difference between this and infamous serial killers, the only difference being that serial killers work in small groups or alone and this is mass organised by many for money and is only allowed as the victims are animals who have no money or control over their own fate making them defenceless sort of like children. SICKENING!

  • A society is judged by how they treat the most vulnerable. If the pride of Africa is caged and shot in a corner what does that say about South Africans? Our country and citizens have a moral and ethical responsibility to end the destructive breeding in poor conditions. We call the lion the King of Beasts and yet we have reduced them to a profit making scheme. I am ashamed that more South Africans don’t stand up to protect the wildlife God has blessed us all with. We are tasked with taking care of all we have been given.

  • These corrupt sub humans will do anything for money. They have no compassion, no soul -they know only greed and don’t care about the suffering they cause.

  • We must stop destroying this beautiful planet. There is not another one. We must look beyond our own ego and cherish all life before it is too late. We are very nearly doomed.

  • Pingback: DEA Progress Report; Captive Lion Breeding and Rhino Demand Management – International Wildlife Bond

  • Pingback: The South African Department of Environmental Affairs have given the green light for lion farming to continue – The Wildlife Volunteer

  • Feed the bloody lot of them to those poor innocent creatures. Pity the human race isn’t doomed. JH

  • Scandalous disgusting decadent and sinful.

  • We have to stop these Monsters, the corruption to control the Wildlife trade comes from the NRA making US Wildlife policies which influences World Wildlife trade. Currently, we have the worst US administration ever against all Wildlife foreign and domestic, we have to target who we think is the next administration to ask them to Stop this as soon as the administration gets in power.

  • Animals wellbeing is the last thing on the collective ”minds” of the so-called government. All that matters to them is how much more money they can steal. I don’t see much hope for these poor animals, short of an airborne disease that only eradicates politicians.coming along.

  • Why is it their right to kill these beautiful animals and many more. The planet is on loan to us, yet a few want to murder and destroy everything on it so that future generations will have a completely different planet, if one at all. People who love this planet and respect it have to live with their destruction and misuse 😢

  • Pingback: DEA Progress Report; Captive Lion Breeding and Rhino Demand Management | IWB

  • Pingback: South Africa’s Fallen Pride: How Law and Government Fail to Protect Lions • The Revelator

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