Wildlife industry concerned by cabinet’s approved policy position

April 3, 2024

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Wildlife Ranching South Africa (WRSA) is deeply concerned by the recent policy-making of minister Barbara Creecy and the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and Environment (DFFE). The minister’s approach appears to prioritise political campaigning over sound wildlife policies, disregarding logic and scientific evidence. This stance has alarmed stakeholders who recognise the potential ecological and biodiversity impacts of the department’s decisions on the long-term survival of wildlife.

Read about WRSA’s settlement with DFFE regarding threatened species here.

Recent outcomes and decisions

WRSA notes with concern the recent cabinet approval of the revised Policy Position on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Elephant, Lion, Leopard, and Rhinoceros, as well as the imminent release of the ministerial task team report on the captive lion industry. Additionally, the outcomes of the Biodiversity Economy and Investment Indaba held in Boksburg from 25 to 27 March 2024 and the recently published National Biodiversity Economy Strategy further increase apprehension.

These actions not only disregard scientific recommendations and industry achievements but also infringe upon private property rights concerning wildlife ownership, violating sections 24 and 25 of the South African Constitution.

WRSA is actively engaging with stakeholders and Sustainable Use Coalition Southern Africa (SUCo-SA) partners to assess the potential repercussions of these statements. It is crucial to remember that governmental statements, including cabinet-approved policies, remain tentative until they are formalised into law.

Now, more than ever, solidarity in the wildlife industry is imperative. WRSA urges all stakeholders to unite and amplify our collective voice. Together, we must advocate fiercely for the Agro Sustainable Biodiversity Wildlife Economy Sector. – Press release, Wildlife Ranching SA

Cabinet approves revised policy position on the conservation and sustainable use of wildlife

Cabinet has approved the revised Policy Position on the conservation and sustainable use of elephant, lion, leopard, and rhinoceros for implementation.

South Africa is a country, with diverse cultures, remarkable geological wealth, and exceptional biodiversity, much of which is unique, and with high levels of endemism. With this rich endowment comes the responsibility and challenge of ensuring our species and ecosystems are conserved and used sustainably for the benefit of all South Africans and future generations.