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Legal situation in South Africa

Canned Hunting of lions is still allowed in South Africa, as the hunting and breeding industries are defending themselves against any constraints with all the resources at their disposal.

The South African government wanted to achieve improvements with a list of endangered animal species (TOPS List). Following this, every species on the list must survive independently in their natural habitat for two years before they may be shot. Originally lions were also included on the protection list however, due to pressure from the breeders, they were removed from the list again in 2008.
In June 2009, the highest court in the South African province Free State decided that the lions could be included in the TOPS list again. However, the South African lion breeders association appealed against this judgement to the National Supreme Court.

Supreme Court rules in favour of lion breeders

Unfortunately, the ruling of the Supreme Court was in favour of the lion breeders. The Supreme Court of Appeal determined that the Minister of Environmental Affairs at the time, did not take a “rational decision” when she determined that captive-bred lions had to fend for themselves in an extensive wildlife system for 24 months before they could be hunted. So the hunting and breeding industry remains unregulated and lions will carry on suffering in captivity.

The TOPS list is not the best instrument to protect big cats, because it does not ban lion hunting; but including lions on the list would be an important step forward to protecting captive bred lions and regulating the industry as many lion farmers would have found it unfeasible to continue the practice.

FOUR PAWS calls for a ban of Canned Hunting

Due to this devastating court decision bred lions still remain unprotected. FOUR PAWS is now more determined than ever to stop this cruelty to lions on South African farms. We are calling on the Government of South Africa to work on new regulations that will offer protection for lions and enable an outright ban of Canned Hunting.

Stop Canned Hunting! - Sign the petition now!