On Tuesday (6 August 2019), the High Court made a landmark ruling relating to the controversial lion bone industry in the country and found the 2017 and 2018 lion bone export quotas were unlawful and unconstitutional. The Judgement reinforces the 2016 South African Constitutional Court judgement which emphasised that welfare is indeed an environmental and conservation competency.
“FOUR PAWS welcomes today’s ruling by the high court, which provides a glimmer of hope to shut down the industry. The NSPCA and the coalition to end the captive breeding of lions for commercial gain have vehemently advised the previous minister(s) against the 2017 and 2018 lion bone quotas – to no avail,” says Fiona Miles, director of FOUR PAWS in South Africa. Past bone permits were awarded without science based merit or any welfare considerations taken into account.
“The captive breeding of lions and subsequent sub-sector of lion bone trade have been allowed to explode into an unmanageable and under-regulated industry which doesn’t account for any animal welfare considerations. For far too long this has been allowed to continue and we call on the new Minister of the Department of Environment (DEFF), Barbara Creecy, to consult with animal welfare and conservation communities in finding solutions to put the welfare of these animals first and we strongly call for an end to this abhorrent industry in its totality!”
“We will all continue our fight to ensure that the big cats of South Africa get the protection they deserve”, Miles concludes.
FOUR PAWS along with various other organisations – locally and globally – have already raised more than 3,6 million signatures in the past few years to put an end to this industry.
Lion Bone Judgement
FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. The sustainable campaigns and projects of FOUR PAWS focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. www.four-paws.org.za