Toute l'actu sur la protection de l'environnement

SOUTH AFRICA: intensive lion and rhino farming now banned

The South African government has just given the green light to a series of policies aimed at putting an end to the intensive breeding of lions and the commercial breeding of rhinos. This decision marks a significant step forward in wildlife conservation in South Africa, after many years of debate and consultation.
On Wednesday 3 March 2024, South Africa’s Minister for the Environment, Barbara Creecy, presented a plan to gradually impose a ban on the breeding of lions and rhinos for hunting. The policies aim to end the lucrative exploitation of lions and rhinos, which are often bred in captivity for commercial activities such as tourist selfies, ‘walk with the lions’ experiences, penned hunts and the export of carcasses for medicinal purposes.
According to Mark Jones of Born Free, a long-time campaigner against cruel lion farming and the rhino trade, around 12,000 lions are currently kept in more than 300 facilities in South Africa, while rhino farming is also practised in the country. However, recent financial failures in the industry, such as the closure of John Hume’s 8,000-hectare Buffalo Dream ranch in the north-west of the country, have highlighted the limits of commercial rhino farming as a conservation tool.
A 2-year moratorium
The South African government had already announced in 2021 its intention to ban the breeding of lions for hunting, and an ad hoc commission has been working on the issue for the past two years. « The commission recommended the closure of the captive breeding sector, including the keeping of lions in captivity, as well as the use of captive lions for commercial purposes », explained Minister Barabara Creecy at a press conference in Cape Town.
Prior to a total ban, breeders will be given up to two years to voluntarily withdraw from the sector and retrain.
The implementation of these policies marks a turning point in the fight to protect South Africa’s wildlife. The authorities are now called upon to act swiftly to guarantee the welfare of the animals concerned, and to consider extending these measures to other wild species bred and kept for commercial purposes in the country.
Fanta Mabo

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