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National Council of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v Minister of Environmental Affairs, Director-General, Department of Environmental Affairs & South African Predators Association

6 August 2019

High Court of the Republic of South Africa, Gauteng Division, Pretoria 

Case no. 86515/2017

Date: 6 August 2019

Judge: Kollapen J

This matter concerned the Minister of Environmental Affairs’ 2017  and 2018 lion bone export quotas. The Court held that the quotas were unlawful and constitutionally invalid because the Minister had failed to consider the welfare of captive lions in setting the annual export quotas. The court held that this failure was illogical, irrational and against the spirit of Section 24 of the Constitution (which contains the right to a healthy environment).

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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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