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Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy is due to release the High Level Panel (HLP) report on the management, breeding, hunting, trade and handling of elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros.

The Minister is due to release the report on Sunday.

The appointment of the Panel by the Minister in October 2019 came after the hosting of a colloquium on captive lion breeding in August 2018, which recommended an end to lion breeding in South Africa.

It was also in response to a number of emotive and complex conservation and sustainable use issues being raised by the public, particularly those involving keystone species.

In a statement on Thursday the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment said these included the lion bone trade, hunting of captive-bred lions, the elephant culling debate, the ivory stockpile, and trade in rhinoceros’ horn.

The High Level Panel, chaired by Pam Yako, reviewed policies, legislation and practices related to the management, breeding, hunting, trade and handling of elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros. 

The panel comprised conservationists, scientists, departmental officials, community leaders, economists, experts in trade and industry, the law, welfare, legal and welfare industry, legal, welfare and sustainable agriculture.

Despite numerous challenges arising from the various alert level national lockdowns as the country dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minister received a full report from Yako on 24 December 2020. 

The report has been tabled to Cabinet and Cabinet has approved the release of the report and its recommendations for implementation.

SAnews.gov.za

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