The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) joins organisations and individuals across the globe in our commitment to promoting and supporting the conservation of lions.
The IFP and its Founder and President Emeritus, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP, have always been vocal regarding our stance on the need to protect these magnificent animals, and have spoken out against the barbaric practice of ‘canned lion hunting’ and captive lion breeding. These practices are solely for the profit of unscrupulous individuals and are of no benefit to conservation endeavours.
Among others, the IFP’s efforts to shine a light on these issues have included the promotion of the award-winning documentary, “Lions, Bones and Bullets”, which was made in South Africa and highlights the practices and impact of the captive lion breeding ‘industry’.
The IFP’s official policy towards any form of captive-bred lion farming and/or hunting is that the practice remains an abhorrence and stain on Brand South Africa and must be abolished with all due haste by government.
However, despite the 2021 High Level Panel Report released by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment, as well as the 2022 White Paper on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of South Africa’s Biodiversity, thousands of lions remain at risk.
In December 2022, the Minister of Minister of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment, Barbara Creecy, appointed a Ministerial Task Team with the purpose of “identifying and recommending voluntary exit options and pathways for the captive lion industry”. They were initially due to present their findings by the end of June 2023, however their term has now been extended to end on 31 December 2023.
The motivation for the extension is to give the Task Team “sufficient time to conclude [their] outstanding work, which includes, amongst others, finalisation of stakeholder consultations, determination of funding mechanisms, and report compilation”.
While we appreciate the need to follow proper procedure, and to consult with stakeholders, we must ask: who in this process is speaking up and speaking out on behalf of the lions that are being held captive. Often – according to numerous reports – in conditions that flagrantly disregard any and all basic conditions for animal welfare.
As the IFP – and as South Africans – we have a responsibility to protect our country’s glorious flora and fauna – including our lions – for this, and the next generation. We will continue to advocate for our lions until any form of captive-bred lion farming and/or hunting has been done away with in its entirety.
Hon. Narend Singh MP
IFP Spokesperson on Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment
083 788 5954