On Sunday, May 3rd, The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment in South Africa took steps toward ending the country’s captive lion breeding industry. Starting by ending new permits for new captive lion facilities, and revoking any current permits, Rachel Fobar reports for National Geographic.
The decision came alongside a 600-page report of recommended changes to wildlife management policies in the area. The report recommended implementing bans on keeping lions in captivity, breeding and using them in tourist interactions and enclosed lion hunts. Next, the parliament will decide whether to turn the recommendations into laws. The recommendations have government support, so the announcement has been seen as a huge victory for both animal welfare and lion conservation.
“This is a significant shift in thinking, and it’s far, far greater than anyone would have thought a year ago, or even six months ago,” says Ian Michler, director of Blood Lions, a nonprofit organization that has advocated for ending captive lion breeding in South Africa, to Elizabeth Claire Alberts at Mongabay. “And it’s the first time we believe that we have a ministry or government that is really committed to dealing with these issues.”