Exposing Captive Lion Breeders

Why Exposing Captive Lion Breeders? Worldwide resistance together with education against Canned/Trophy Hunting had resulted in their income shrinking. Many airlines refuse to transport heads cut off a Lion, Tiger or Elephant. Countries tightened their legislation about the import of trophies. The USA, where the majority of the hunters come from, have stopped the import of trophies from canned hunts. In 2018, ruthless breeders were suddenly afraid of losing the commercial foundation of their businesses. Well, they came up with another idea –  the Lion Bone Trade! In other words, searching for compensation, breeders now started selling all kind of predator bones to Asia.

Reason 1 Exposing Captive Lion BreederS

Dirty money fuels Captive lion/predator breeding. Undeniably, the whole industry is founded on cruelty. In August 2018, the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs hosted a two-day colloquium on captive lion breeding under the title: Captive Lion Breeding for Hunting In South Africa: Harming or Promoting the Conservation Image of the Country. There was universal condemnation from local and international conservation organisations, including even from within the hunting industry itself. But nothing has happened more than a year later.

Various lions at breeding facility - exposing Captive Lion Breeder

Reason 2 Exposing Captive Lion BreederS

Government must review the facilities and their permits urgently. The intention must be to close them. Consequently, we need to find out, where these facilities are. DEA still attempts to justify the practice as a supposedly well-regulated, legal and beneficial example of the sustainable utilisation of natural resources. But in the meantime, more and more gruesome findings at breeding farms come up. In August 2018, the discovery of a lion slaughterhouse with at least 54 dead lions and 260 lions at the Wag’n Bietjie farm in the Free State, sparked public rage.
At a (already!) follow-up visit at Pienkia Farm dead or sick lion cubs and a freezer stuffed with carcasses were found. The farm was first visited by the NSPCA Wildlife Protection Unit in August 2019. Pienikas owner, Jan Steinmann, is a member of the SA Predator association (as is the owner of the Wag’n Bietjie farm, Andre Steyn).

Reason 3 Exposing Captive Predator Breeders

Regulation and oversight of facilities breeding/keeping tigers in captivity in South Africa is poor and inconsistent. No law regulates breeding tigers for commercial purposes. Contrariwise, tigers are not native to Africa and there are no special laws containing the tiger species. In 2015, 280 tigers were estimated to be kept in at least 44 facilities in South Africa, while in 2019, South African NGOs identified at least 60 facilities with tigers.

Captive tigers abused - exposing Captive Lion BreederNote: we list tiger breeding facilities in a separate list even if the listings might be overlapping – Captive tiger breeders in Gauteng and Limpopo – Captive tiger breeders in the North-West Province

Reason 4 Exposing Captive Lion BreederS

Almost every day, poachers target a breeding facility. Poachers make no difference. Are the lions are bred with greed for money, to serve as petting or walking lions? This farm lost all their 9 lions in a matter of 9 months.

Poached Lion at Popallin

Reason 5 Exposing Captive Lion BreederS

CONservation ventures scam an unknown number of volunteers every year. Many of the volunteer organizations who deal and arrange work placements, actually use Lion Breeding Farms. Volunteers end up at places like Letsatsi la Africa, Ukutula or Boskoppie. While volunteers pay to raise little cubs, tourists pay to pet, cuddle and photograph exactly the same cute cubs. These farms operate with the purpose to either use the Lions in Canned Hunting, selling their bones or to sell to zoos or private individuals. However, the actual reasons for conservation as the owners explain themselves are not true.

Reason 6 Exposing Captive Lion BreederS

Even DEA and the minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries does not know all breeding facilities.

– In 2019 the DEA reported (!) that 88 lion breeding facilities in various provinces did not comply with legislation
– Indeed, some Facilities do not have permits at all
– There are no processes available for the provinces to ensure facilities comply with legislation. Nobody can conduct regular inspections
– After all, it is shocking to learn that some of the legislation dates back to 1962 and 1935
– The DEA issued new permits and renewed old permits

Politicians of all parties must wake up and put an end to the practice as a matter of urgency. South Africa urgently needs a legislative review of the captive lion industry and the lion bone trade as well of the breeding of tigers.

Lioness with deformed legs at Bally Vaughn - Expose Captive Lion Breeders

Reason 7 Exposing Captive Lion Breeders

Surely, South Africa does not need captive Lions! Undoubtedly, there are 10.000 to 12.000 captive lions sitting behind farm bars in South Africa and their numbers are growing. It is impossible to differentiate body parts from wild vs. captive lions. Evidentially, with fewer than probably 2.000 wild lions, South Africa has 5 to 6 times more lions kept in captivity than in the wild. Lions are a threatened species, listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN. After all, CITES prohibits the trade of bones from wild lions. But it does allow South Africa to export bones from captive ones.

captive Lions boosting poaching

Reason 8 Exposing Captive Lion BreederS

The incredible ruthlessness and cruelty of this breeders don’t know any borders.

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