Creecy’s lion breeding task team must be inclusive if it is to succeed

Issued by Dave Bryant MP – DA Shadow Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries
01 Sep 2022 in News

Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy has recently put out a call for interested and affected parties to join a task team to develop exit strategies for those involved in lion breeding in South Africa.

The connections between some lion breeding facilities and the international trade in lion bone has been exposed by investigative journalists in a number of critically acclaimed documentaries and reports.

It is now common cause that some of these lion farms are being used primarily as breeding facilities to support the trade in lion bone, used primarily as an alternative to tiger bone medicine in China and elsewhere.

Many of the lions being bred at these farms develop genetic and developmental challenges and are either permanently disabled or are unable to reintegrate into the wild.

The DA wholeheartedly supports efforts to end the trade in lion bone, which not only has a negative impact on the animals concerned, but also on our moral standing on the international stage.

The high level panel report on the management, breeding, hunting, trade and handling of elephant, lion leopard and rhinoceros, published last year has emphasized the need to eradicate the trade in lion bone, but up until now there has been no direct guidance as to how to achieve this.

It is therefore essential that the ministerial task team comprise of a wide range of stakeholders, including veterinarians, advocacy groups and those currently involved in the lion breeding industry.

Stakeholders within the lion breeding sector are currently hamstrung by an absence of guidance from government and the task team will only achieve tangible and sensible results if is includes a wide range of expertise and experience. The recommendations of this task team will have indelible impacts on the future of lions in South Africa and it is vital that it succeeds.