Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development
Representation of the wildlife industry and the forestry, fisheries and the environment department on the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) Board will require amendment to the Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
The agriculture, land reform and rural development department highlighted this during a recent briefing in parliament on the implementation of recommendations flowing from the High Level Panel Report on captive animals.
The High Level Panel Report on the management, breeding, hunting, trade and handling of elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros was released in 2021.
The Panel was set up in 2019 to review policies, legislation and practices related to the four species.
Speaking at the release, the forestry, fisheries and environment minister, Barbara Creecy, pointed out that parliament had earlier requested the department to initiate a policy and legislative review on the captive lion breeding industry.
The department subsequently decided to expand the review to include the other species that also face significant threats.
The minister confirmed that the Panel’s recommendations will be taken forward to develop a Policy on Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use and adopt a One Welfare approach for wildlife.
During the briefing, the department also informed the portfolio committee on environment, forestry and fisheries that norms and standards for welfare will be developed under the Animals Protection Act; expert panels to draw up draft norms and standards to be set up; draft regulations that allow for the delegation of powers for welfare inspections to persons other than the NSPCA to be developed; Draft Animal Welfare Bill to make provision for the delegation and authorization of persons (officials and animal welfare organisations) to implement and enforce provisions of the Act once enacted and the draft bill will also ensure that the NSPCA is the sole enforcer of the Animals Protection Act.