South Africa to end captive lion breeding for cub petting

Leah Sinclair
·1-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

South Africa has vowed to clamp down on captive lion breeding after a review panel found that the industry risked the conservation of wild lions and harmed tourism.

Environment minister Barbara Creecy said she would support the recommendations from the panel’s nearly 600-page report, which suggested South Africa end the breeding and keeping of captive lions for commercial gain, including hunting them and tourist interactions such as cub petting.

The report also urged for an immediate halt on the trade of lion bones, which are sold as hunting trophies, jewellery and ingredients for traditional Chinese medicine, and pose major risks to wild lion populations in South Africa.

Ms Creecy said: "I have requested the department to action this accordingly and ensure that the necessary consultation for implementation is conducted," she said at the panel’s presentation, referring to recommendations on captive lions.

However, the panel - made up of 26 people - could not come to an agreement on how to combat captive lion breeding.

Ms Creecy also stressed the measures were not aimed at the hunting industry and there are plans to end the hunting of wild lions.

"Preventing the hunting of captive lions is in the interests of the authentic wild hunting industry, and will boost the hunting economy and our international reputation, and the jobs that this creates," she said.

As well as the lion trade, the panel reviewed policies around leopards, rhinos and elephants.

On the issue of rhino horn and elephant ivory stockpiles, the panel recommended that the minister consult other countries in Southern Africa to establish a strategy for disposing of them.

Read More

Raab hosting G7 foreign ministers meeting amid Covid restrictions

One vaccine dose ‘offers more protection to people who have already had Covid’

Van-Tam hopes existing Covid vaccines will give protection against variants