The IFP’s Chief Whip in Parliament, Hon. Narend Singh MP, together with the Conservation Action Trust, represented by Mr Francis Garrard, co-hosted the South African première of Lions, Bones and Bullets at an in-person screening hosted at Parliament in Cape Town on 30 August 2022.
Lions, Bones and Bullets is an award-winning documentary made in South Africa, which follows the journey of Penguin South Africa author, Richard Peirce, as he investigates the captive lion breeding industry. The film offers a valid appraisal of this ‘industry’, based on an informed, fact-based investigation.
In his recorded introduction, Peirce said that he believes South Africa has a special responsibility as a key guardian of many of the world’s iconic species.
The screening was attended by several MPs – across portfolios – who all share a deep concern for, and belief in the need to protect, South African wildlife. Apologies were received from the Office of the President, as well as from the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment, the Hon. Barbara Creecy.
After the screening, Hon. Singh summed up the film, explained IFP policy in this area, and urged Honourable Members to support Minister Creecy’s current policy position, which calls for the abolition of captive breeding.
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. The film not only underlines the validity of this policy but additionally, clearly demonstrates the need for it.
A question-and-answer session ended the evening, which Hon. Singh hopes will help catalyse and lobby additional support for new wildlife legislation. Such legislation must not only satisfy wildlife conservation challenges, but also incorporate animal welfare considerations, and help protect animals that have no voice.
The great freedom fighter, Mahatma Gandhi, whose formative years were spent in South Africa, once famously declared, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
The IFP believes that with concerted uniformity of purpose, South African legislators – across party lines – will rise to this challenge. South Africa must support international conservation, not only by ensuring the survival of iconic species, but also by setting an example for other nations to follow.
In his closing remarks during an interview with Mr Peirce, His Excellency, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP, the IFP leader in Parliament and President Emeritus of the IFP declared, “The lion is regarded as the king of the animals and that is why for instance the Zulu people address their King as ‘The Lion’ and King’s children as ‘the cubs of the Lion’”.
Prince Buthelezi went on further to state that it was beyond his imagination how it could be acceptable to farm lions. He said that such practice was totally unacceptable, concluding that it would endanger the lion species even more.
For more information, visit: https://www.lionsbonesbullets.film/
Hon. Narend Singh MP
IFP Chief Whip in Parliament and Member on Forestry, Fisheries and Environment
083 788 5954