From left to right
Chris Mercer CACH, Mike Fynn Lion and Safari Park (LSP), Andre La Cock LSP, Mandla Mdluli DAFF, Petri Viljoen ALWG, Tom Wittenberg Economist, Riaan Crafford Ondestepoort Vet, Carla vd Vyver SAPA, Katja Koeppel Ondestepoort Vet, Pieter Van Zyl SAPA, Linda Park CACH, Magdel Boshoff DEA and John Werth PAAZA/WAZA.
A group of concerned members from diverse areas of operations and interests established a Captive Lion Working Group, with an initial specific focus on lion breeding and cub petting. The group met at Lion & Safari Park on 21 January 2017 to discuss the subject of captive lions, and cub petting in particular.
The diversity of the group is demonstrated by the mix of representatives, namely Onderstepoort, SA Vet Council, PAAZA, African Lion Working Group (IUCN SSC), Lion & Safari Park, SA Predators Association (SAPA), Campaign Against Canned Hunting (CACH), as well as independent specialists and consultants. The Department of Environmental Affairs and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries were also invited to participate in the discussions, and representatives from both departments attended the meeting.
Under the facilitation of CBSG (IUCN Breeding Specialist Group), constructive debate and input from this group of professional and experienced participants resulted in consensus that, despite differences in opinion and priorities, the working group would continue to operate and would pursue the drafting of an industry management plan for cub petting that can be circulated to the industry and key stakeholders for input.
It was agreed during the meeting that the group will continue as the Captive Carnivores Working Group.
CACH believes that an agreement on regulations for carnivores in captivity, thus far totally unregulated, with a universal welfare plan is a step forward, whilst our push for an entire ban on the industry continues unabated. Our teams continue to press tourism stakeholders not to promote or support cub petting.