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Article

Ending Commercial Lion Farming in South Africa: A Gap Analysis Approach

by 1, 2, 2 and 1,3,*
1
World Animal Protection 222 Gray’s Inn Rd., London WC1X 8HB, UK
2
Blood Lion NPC, P.O. Box 1554, Hermanus 7200, South Africa
3
Recanati-Kaplan Centre, Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Tubney House, Abingdon Road, Tubney, Abingdon OX13 5QL, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Wayne Boardman and Anne-Lise Chaber
Animals 2021, 11(6), 1717; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11061717
Received: 15 April 2021 / Revised: 4 June 2021 / Accepted: 5 June 2021 / Published: 8 June 2021
In South Africa, African lions (Panthera leo) are bred on farms for commercial purposes such as tourism, trophy hunting, and the international traditional medicine market. Despite its legal status, South Africa’s growing lion farming industry is a contentious issue. In 2020, a high-level panel was appointed to review the policies, legislation, and management of breeding, hunting, trade, and handling of four wildlife species, namely rhino, elephant, leopard, and lions. In May 2021, it was announced that the government will stop issuing permits to new entrants into this industry as well as the issuance of hunting permits and will start amending permit conditions to prohibit breeding and exclude tourism interactions with captive lions, effectively ending the lion farming industry. In order to follow this line of action, a comprehensive, well-managed plan will be required to ensure a responsible transition away from the current industry. Here, using a “gap analysis” management tool, we outline some of the key considerations necessary for a responsible, well-managed exit from the lion farming industry in South Africa. We compiled key background information about the current state of the industry and use this information to identify desired management states and specific steps that could facilitate a successful phase out of lion farming.
African lions (Panthera leo) are commercially farmed across South Africa for sport hunting, tourism, and the international bone trade, primarily in Southeast Asia. Despite its legal status, South Africa’s growing lion farming industry is a contentious issue. In 2020 a high-level panel was initiated to review the policies, legislation, and management regarding the breeding, hunting, trade, and handling of four wildlife species, including lions. In May 2021, it was announced that the government intends to amend existing permit conditions to prohibit lion breeding and tourism interactions with captive lions, as well as to stop issuing permits to new entrants into the industry, effectively ending lion farming. In order to follow this line of action, a comprehensive, well-managed plan will be necessary to execute a responsible exit from the industry as it currently stands. Using a “gap analysis” management tool, we aim to: (1) outline some of the key considerations regarding the current state of the lion farming industry in South Africa; and (2) propose specific action steps that could be taken within five key areas (regulation, animal welfare, health and safety, equitability, and conservation) to help inform a responsible transition away from this type of wildlife farming in the biodiversity economy. For our gap analysis, we conducted a semi-systematic literature search to compile key background information about the current state of the industry. This information was then used to identify corresponding desired management states, and steps that could facilitate a successful phase out of lion farming in South Africa. We hope our approach helps identify key considerations for a responsible transition and can help aid decisions during the management of this process. View Full-Text
Keywords: African lion; Panthera leo; commercial breeding; wildlife farming; management; gap analysis African lion; Panthera leo; commercial breeding; wildlife farming; management; gap analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Green, J.; Jakins, C.; Waal, L.d.; D’Cruze, N. Ending Commercial Lion Farming in South Africa: A Gap Analysis Approach. Animals 2021, 11, 1717. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11061717

AMA Style

Green J, Jakins C, Waal Ld, D’Cruze N. Ending Commercial Lion Farming in South Africa: A Gap Analysis Approach. Animals. 2021; 11(6):1717. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11061717

Chicago/Turabian Style

Green, Jennah, Catherine Jakins, Louise d. Waal, and Neil D’Cruze. 2021. "Ending Commercial Lion Farming in South Africa: A Gap Analysis Approach" Animals 11, no. 6: 1717. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11061717

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