South Africa says it is declaring war on the country’s controversial lion-breeding industry.
Animal rights activists had welcomed Environment Minister Barbara Creecy’s announcement of recommendations to stop the multimillion-dollar business of breeding lions in captivity.
“Today is a massive celebration for South African lions with the government adopting recommendations to end the abhorrent captive lion-breeding industry.
“Lions will no longer have to suffer in horrid conditions for someone’s selfie, canned trophy or have their body parts harvested for wines and powders,” Audrey Delsink, wildlife director of the animal welfare organization, Humane Society International/Africa (HSI/Africa), said in a statement on Wednesday.
According to their estimates, nearly 11,000 captive-bred lions were kept on over 260 lion farms in South Africa nationwide.
The predators are commercially exploited from birth to death, this includes so-called cuddle selfies with very young lion cubs that tourists pay for.
“Then once the lions are adults, they are offered to trophy hunters who shoot them in a fenced area and kill them for the international trade in lion bones,” the organisation criticises.
Germany is considered one of the main importing countries for lion trophies from South Africa in the EU.
Minister Creecy had announced her recommendations at the weekend as part of a review of existing policies and practices on the handling and trade of elephants, lions, leopards and rhinos.
It aims to prevent the breeding of lions in captivity and the commercial trade in lion products in the future.
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