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Lions in limbo at Free State abattoir while DEA and DAFF point fingers

by 17/05/2018 03:00:00 0 comments 1 Views

Following the month of bloodshed in the captive lion industry‚ major Big Cat conservation groups including EWT‚ Panthera‚ WildlifeACT‚ WildTrust‚ Blood Lions and the National Association of Conservancies called on South Africa's Minister of Environmental Affairs‚ Dr Edna Molewa‚ urging her to act fast in regulating the captive breeding carnivore industry in South Africa to avoid further bloodshed.

"The time has clearly come for legislation to be put in place to end all public interactions with carnivores in South Africa. There is no justifiable rationale for the public to be interacting with carnivores in captivity‚ risking people’s lives‚" the open letter reads.

Furthermore‚ the document states that the department could be held accountable if more fatalities related to the captive-bred industry occur.

"Should the South African government continue to turn a blind eye to this issue‚ more people will be injured or killed. It is clear that the current system is flawed and a failure to react rapidly to protect people would be negligent‚” it reads.

The conservation heavyweights have urged the DEA to enforce "strict regulations for the management of all carnivores held in captivity that ensure that only qualified‚ experienced people have access to these animals and that no risks are posed to either human or animal life by unrestricted‚ unregulated access by all people”.

Marnewick further warns that‚ apart from the damage the canned lion industry is doing to SA's conservation credibility‚ EWT is "also concerned about the possible impact of this practice on the wild lion population‚ and more so in other African countries where they are vulnerable to being poached. "The poaching of wild lions for body parts has escalated in recent years and we cannot rule out a link to the market created for lion bones from captive breeding institutions”.

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