Draft Policy Position on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Elephant, Lion, Leopard and Rhinoceros

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The Republic of South Africa, Department of Forestry, Fisheries and The Environment (DFFE) has issued its “Draft Policy Position on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Elephant, Lion, Leopard and Rhinoceros” – Government Gazette, No. 49322, Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment (DFFE), dated 19 September 2023.

There are many contradictions between the previous White Paper’s progressive spirit – the Policy Position espouses the commercial trophy hunting of leopard, rhinoceros and elephant, keeping the speculative spectre of a legal international trade in ivory and rhinoceros horn alive….

The Policy Position proposals to correct unsustainable practices and promote conservation are welcome. The Policy Position ((1), page 5) “to end the captive keeping of lions for commercial purposes and close captive lion facilities, put a halt to the intensive breeding of lion in controlled environments, and end the commercial exploitation of captive and captive-bred lion” is long-overdue and welcomed:

The minister has put in place a lion advisory panel which is attempting to assess the captive lion population and looking into voluntary exit plans for breeders” (“Government opens public comments on policy to end captive lion breeding,” Daily Maverick, 26 September 2023). The recommendations of the advisory panel are awaited.

 

IWB’s submission – “Draft Policy Position on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Elephant, Lion, Leopard and Rhinoceros,” Dated 9 October 2023

 

 

Further Reading

Let it burn, says animal welfare NGO about South Africa’s 75-tonne rhino horn stockpile,” Daily Maverick, 19 March 2024

Government trying to slam through plan that will result in massive exploitation of wildlife,” Daily Maverick, 18 March 2024

National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (10/2004): Comments invited on the draft National Biodiversity Economy Strategy, Vol. 705, Gazette 50279, No. 4492, 8 March 2024

South Africa’s Rhino Horn Stockpiles: Integral to Illegal Trade – What Next for South African Rhino,” EMS Foundation report 2024

ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF TROPHY HUNTING ARE DUBIOUS — A COLONIAL SPORT FOR THE PRIVILEGED FEW,” Conservation Action Trust, 31 January 2024

‘I’m a lion farmer. No one takes my lions’: Breeders threaten court action over industry closure,” Daily Maverick, 30 January 2024

If the captive big cat industry is left to thrive, species harm will be irreparable,” Daily Maverick, 23 January 2024

The captive lion breeding (CLB) industry and legal trade proponents still perpetuate (see comment at above referenced article) the unsubstantiated ‘buffer’ theory that (for example) if the captive lion bone trade is eliminated in entirety, then wild lions will be increasingly targeted to satisfy demand (a demand for lion bones created by the CLB industry duly noted). However, the CLB industry fails to acknowledge that ‘legal’ lion bone trade incentivises the poaching of wild lions anyway (Ref IWB’s HLP Submission, para 9.4 “The ‘Buffer’ Theory“).

The same applies to establishing ‘legal’ international ivory and rhino horn trades. The ‘bans’ have failed to be effectively enforced and demand reduction is not pursued actively enough within Asian markets (for Traditional Chinese Medicine ingredients from wildlife and/or for wildlife parts such as ivory and rhino horn as status symbols). Introducing a ‘legal’ trade mechanism is not going to enhance the wild species’ chances of survival if demand is legitimised, stimulated and provides potentially lucrative poaching opportunities to flourish in parallel (Ref IWB’s HLP Submission, para 11.3 “Rhinoceros Horn Trade” and para 8.3.1 “Elephant Ivory demand Management and Regulatory Failure“).

Could This Sound The Needed Death Knell On The Legal Horn Debate?,” Nature Needs More, 12 January 2024

Texan arrested in South Africa after police say they found 26 rhino carcasses on his ranch,” The Independent, 30 December 2023

US national arrested in South Africa on wildlife trafficking, weapons charges,” ABC News, 29 December 2023

‘Slaughterhouse’ of rhinos found in animal activist’s ranch,” The Metro, 28 December 2023

VIP passengers: the five black rhinos flown 2,700 miles on a mission to repopulate Chad,” The Guardian, 6 December 2023

Sold: 2,000 captive southern white rhino destined for freedom across Africa,” The Guardian, 1 December 2023

SA’s ‘R3.4-billion’ hunting industry – should a simple tourist levy replace recreational hunts?,” Daily Maverick, 22 October 2023

Regulations tabled to block new lion breeders and protect wide range of wild creatures,” Daily Maverick, 20 October 2023

KRUGER’S RHINOS CONTINUE TO FACE UNRELENTING THREATS AND CATASTROPHIC POPULATION DECLINES,” Conservation Action trust (Daily Maverick), 15 October 2023

Landscape of fear Crime, corruption and murder in greater Kruger” Julian Rademeyer, ENACT, Issue 36, January 2023:

Today, the Kruger’s gravest threat is not poaching but internal corruption

Lion protection fee paid by tourists could help stop trophy hunting – SA study,” Moneyweb, 7 October 2023

Government opens public comments on policy to end captive lion breeding,” Don Pinnock, Daily Maverick, 26 September 2023

Balule trophy hunt — how not to shoot an elephant,” Daily Maverick, 12 September 2023

Hume’s herd of 2,000 African rhinos get a last-minute ‘lifeline’ in major purchase and rewilding project,” Daily Maverick, 4 September 2023

EXPORT OF 10 LIVE LIONS FROM SOUTH AFRICA TO THE LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC,” EMS Foundation, 10 August 2023

Lion farming in South Africa: fresh evidence adds weight to fears of link with illegal bone trade,” The Conversation, 10 August 2023

Putting a stop to cruelty: why South Africa´s commercial captive lion industry should be shut down for good,” World Animal Protection, July 2023

Publication of the White Paper on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of South Africa’s Biodiversity,” Republic of South Africa, Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Gazette 48785, Notice 3537,  June 2023

Biting the hand that feeds you: Attacks by captive carnivores cause deaths and injuries in South Africa, ” De Waal et al., African Journal of Wildlife Research 53: 21–28 (published 2 June 2023) – https://doi.org/10.3957/056.053.0021

What Are John Hume’s Rhinos Really Worth?” Nature Needs More, 27 April 2023

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