Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Born Free calls on South Africa to stop exploiting captive-bred lions this World Animal Day!

4 October 2017

Categories: Homepage News, Big Cats Campaign News, Wildlife Trade News

On this day, Born Free has joined with citizens and colleagues across Europe to call on the South African Government to put an end to the exploitation of lions in intensive breeding facilities, and the export of bones and other products from these animals for commercial purposes.

Born Free’s Associate Director Mark Jones, himself a vet, said: “The intensive breeding of lions and their exploitation for profit is completely unacceptable. South Africa’s lion breeding industry serves no conservation purpose, and the animals all too often suffer short miserable lives. The international trade in bones and other products stimulates demand and puts wild lions at risk from poachers. South Africa has a responsibility to close this industry down and focus instead on protecting wild lions.”

A petition calling on the South African Government to close the industry and associated trade down has been supported by more than 25 organisations and signed by more than 11,500 people. It has been sent with a covering letter to the Minister of Environmental Affairs in South Africa, and to South African embassies and consulates across Europe.

As few as 20,000 lions remain across the African continent, and without concerted action to protect them, numbers are predicted to continue to fall in the coming years.

However, across South Africa, at least 8,000 lions languish in more than 200 intensive captive breeding facilities, where they are exploited at every stage of their lives. Tourists and paying volunteers are encouraged to visit these facilities to engage in cub rearing and petting, and ‘walking with lions’. As the animals become too big to handle, many are sold to ‘canned hunting’ facilities to be shot by paying ‘hunters’. The bones and other products from these lions are then sold into international trade.

In 2016, the World Conservation Congress adopted a Resolution calling for the termination of captive lion breeding in South Africa.

Born Free will continue to push for an end to the intensive breeding of lions and other predators for commercial purposes. 

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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