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2019 Policy Brief on minimum recommendations for the welfare and protection of wild animals

25 September 2019 at 9:00 am

Today, the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) and the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) published a policy brief titled “Legal and practical regulation of the welfare of wild animals in South Africa” which sets out updated recommendations and implementation strategies to adequately regulate and protect the well-being of South Africa’s wild animals.

The policy brief is a follow up to the 2018 report titled Fair Game? Improving the Regulation of the Well-being of South African Wildlife which made key findings in relation to the existing law and enforcement of minimum welfare standards for wild animals.

“Law reform in respect of wild animal welfare is long overdue.  South African laws and policies regarding the protection of the welfare of wildlife, both captive and free, lack legal certainty, leaving thousands of animals without satisfactory protection” says CER Wildlife attorney, Aadila Agjee.

The policy brief addresses the legal and systematic shortcomings and provides practical measures for improved implementation, as well as outlining resources and capacity requirements to meet both conservation and welfare imperatives.  Recommendations include the standardisation of laws and their implementation across the country, continuous education and training of conservation officers, as well as sufficient budget allocation geared towards capacitating conservation departments to carry out their important mandate.

“The EWT has been gravely concerned for a number of years at the increasing neglect of the wellbeing of wild animals with the expansion of the wildlife economy. Our research indicates a dire need for standard permit provisions and clarity around the mandate for ensuring that welfare considerations are included in decisions and activities that involve the use of wildlife for economic gain. Recent case law has confirmed the need for wildlife welfare standards to be developed and we hope that this policy brief helps to plot the way towards ensuring that our wildlife economy is both ethical and ecologically sustainable” added Chief Executive Officer, Yolan Friedmann.


Download the 2019 policy brief

Download the full 2018 report

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Section 24of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

Everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation; promote conservation; and secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

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