Latest Lion Aid News


A few days ago, Minister Creecy of the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries in South Africa approved the recommendation by a High Level Panel (HLP) to ban the breeding of lions in captivity for trophy hunting and other commercial exploitation.

This Panel has been conducting research and consulted widely for nearly two years before producing a report whose majority found that:

  • The treatment of rhinos and lions, bred in South Africa was unacceptable
  • It was deemed detrimental to South Africa’s image as a prime tourist destination
  • Captive lion breeding did not contribute to conservation
  • Such captive breeding was damaging to South Africa’s conservation and tourism reputation
  • The captive lion industry posed risks to the sustainability of wild lion conservation
  • The trade in lion parts stimulated poaching and the illegal trade

A majority on the HLP therefore concluded that:

  • South Africa should not breed or keep lions in captivity
  • South Africa should not use captive lions’ derivatives commercially
  • Hunting of captive bred lions should be halted
  • Tourist activities involving captive bred lions should be stopped
  • There should be minimum acceptable standards for animal welfare and well-being


We at LionAid are encouraged by this news, and we are delighted that this is credit to many years of hard work by our many partner organizations in South Africa.

We must remember that this is still only a first step, albeit a very important one, to see an end to the canned hunting industry in South Africa. The SA Parliament needs to take action to implement relevant laws, and we expect (already happening) many legal challenges in South African courts. We at LionAid will continue to support our South African partner organizations through the next stages.

One major means of our support will be to insist the UK government bans the import of ALL lion trophies. Records show the majority of which come from captive bred lions in South Africa. The UK government have been sitting on their hands on this issue, but now with the HLP decision and Minister Creecy’s announcement, we will increase our pressure to get a ban.

Promises have been made by UK Ministers and indeed by the Prime Minister to bring in this BAN and we would urge them to act perhaps belatedly do the honourable thing.  

Posted by Chris Macsween at 17:17

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