SAPA Norms and standards for hunting managed ranch lions


1. Table of Contents

1. Table of Contents..................................................................................................................... 2
2. Definitions ................................................................................................................................ 3
3. List of Acronyms ...................................................................................................................... 5
4. Introduction .............................................................................................................................. 6
4.1. The Need for Standards and Regulations ............................................................................ 6
4.2. Current Legislation and the Hunting of Captive Lions .......................................................... 6
4.3. Major Concerns .................................................................................................................... 6
4.4. Objectives of this Document ................................................................................................. 6
5. Categories of Captive Lions in South Africa ............................................................................ 7
6. Animal Welfare......................................................................................................................... 7
7. Breeding and Keeping Ranch Lions for Hunting ..................................................................... 7
8. Underlying Principles of Hunting South African Ranch Lions ................................................. 7
9. Facilities for Keeping and Breeding Ranch Lions for Consumptive use ................................. 8
10. Facilities for Hunting ............................................................................................................. 8
11. Release for Hunting .............................................................................................................. 8
12. Breeding and Keeping for Hunting ....................................................................................... 8
13. Husbandry of Lions for Hunting ............................................................................................ 9
13.1. Safety ................................................................................................................................ 9
13.2. Health ................................................................................................................................ 9
13.3. Feeding .............................................................................................................................. 9
14. Administrative Management ................................................................................................. 9
14.1. Management Plan ............................................................................................................. 9
14.2. Permits .............................................................................................................................. 9
14.3. Identification ...................................................................................................................... 9
14.4. Mandatory Reporting of Non-compliance ......................................................................... 9
14.5. Staff .................................................................................................................................. 9
15. Marketing ........................................................................................................................... 10
15.1. Marketing and Authentic Hunt ......................................................................................... 10
15.2. Minimum Information Required in Marketing Material ..................................................... 10
16. The Hunt ............................................................................................................................. 10
16.1. Authenticity of the Hunt ................................................................................................... 10
16.2. Service Providers ............................................................................................................ 10
16.3. Hunting Ethics ................................................................................................................. 10
16.4. Requirements for an Authentic Hunt ............................................................................... 11
16.5. Practices Explicitly Prohibited ......................................................................................... 11
16.6. Responsibilities of the Hunting Outfitter and His Professional Hunter ............................ 11
17. Trade in Lion Products ....................................................................................................... 11
18. Contribution to Conservation of the Species in the Wild .................................................... 11

 

2. Definitions

accreditation” means a the official certification from the accreditation committee of a facility compliant with the Norms and Standards.
accreditation committee” means a group of persons or a person with the capacity to evaluate captive lion operations for quality assessment, recording and registration purposes.
animal welfare” means how an animal is coping with the conditions in which it lives. An animal is in a good state of welfare if it is healthy, comfortable, well nourished, safe, able to express innate behaviour, and if it is not suffering from unpleasant states such as pain, fear, and distress. Good animal welfare requires disease prevention and veterinary treatment, appropriate shelter, management, nutrition, humane handling and humane slaughter/killing. Animal welfare refers to the state of the animal; the treatment that an animal receives is covered by other terms such as animal care, animal husbandry, and humane treatment.
approved” means the official certification of facilities and includes enclosures, housing and handling facilities
as prescribed” refers to any regulations, norms and standards dealing with specific issues such as housing, handling, registration of facilities, handlers.
Biodiversity Act” means the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004);
"breeder" is a member of a registered breeders’ society and who is the owner of:
(a) the female at the date of birth of an animal to be registered or recorded;
(b) an animal at date of application for registration in the Lion Registry;
(c) the recipient dam at the date of birth of the animal to be registered as a result of an embryo transfer.
bred in captivity” or “captive bred”, in relation to a specimen of a listed threatened or protected animal species, means that the specimen was bred in a controlled environment;
captivity” - state wherein animals are kept by human beings, whereby the animals’ day-to-day needs, welfare and wellbeing are subject to human intervention and care.
captive breeding operation” means a facility where specimens of a listed threatened or protected animal species are bred in a controlled environment for:–
(a) commercial purposes ; or
(b) conservation purposes
captive lion” means any lion that is either totally or partially dependent on human intervention for its upkeep. Categories include captive breeding operations, lion interaction experiences and the hunting of captive bred lions.
categories” means the classification of captive lion into specific activities to ensure that the minimum standards include interventions that address any specific differences between these operations.
commercial purposes”, in relation to a restricted activity involving a specimen of a listed threatened or protected species, means that the primary purpose of the restricted activity is to obtain economic benefit, including profit in cash or in kind, and is directed towards trade, exchange or another form of economic use or benefit.
Competent authority” means a representative group of suitably qualified subject matter specialists with the capacity to empirically evaluate captive lion operations for recording and registration purposes.
competent person” means a suitably educated or qualified individual and includes lion handlers. “euthanasia” - bringing about of a humane death without unnecessary pain or suffering.
"fair chase principle” means a set of hunting conditions in which the individual decision-maker judges the taking of prey as acceptably uncertain and difficult for the hunter.
lion enclosures” means any approved facility needed for effective management purposes and includes camps and housing
lion management” means the organization and coordination of the activities of a system in accordance with certain policies, regulations and norms and standards with the objective of creating an optimum environment for their welfare and expression of natural behaviour
manager” means the person responsible for all activities relating to captive lion and staff on the property.
SAPA Norms and Standards for Hunting of Captive Lions in South Africa 4
owner” means a person having possession, charge, custody or control of a lion and is not necessarily the owner of the property.
ranch lion” is a lion that is bred for consumptive sustainable utilisation purposes. “release” means to intentionally:
- cease exercising physical control over;
- cease having in possession; or
- free from its controlled environment.
"South African bred lion" means a lion (Panthera leo) bred in captivity by a registered breeder in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (Act no.10 of 2004) and the Threatened or Protected Species Regulations, 2007 or whilst in transit to, South Africa, provided that a lion born from an imported ovum or embryo shall be regarded as an imported lion.
suitably educated” means an individual who has been given the necessary education for a specific activity, including handling and caring for lions.
suitably qualified” means an individual with the prescribed qualifications for a specific activity including registration in terms of relevant legislation where applicable.
transport” means the procedures associated with the carrying of animals from one location to another.
vehicle” means any container, truck, ship or receptacle that carries an animal.
veterinarian” means a person registered in terms of the Veterinary and Para-Veterinary Professions Act, 1982 (Act 19 of 1982), to practise a veterinary profession as defined in section 1 of that Act.
working lion” means a lion that has on-going human interaction beyond the age of 3 months, whether for display, contact or other types of interaction, and may never be hunted.


3. List of Acronyms

Term/Acronym Definition
APA Animal Protection Act, 1962 (Act 71 of 1962)
BMP Biodiversity Management Plan for the Lion (Panthera leo) in South Africa
CVV ENVIRO Sedutla Trust T/A CVV ENVIRO
DEA Department of Environmental Affairs
DNA Deoxyribonucleic Acid
EMP Environmental Management Plan
FGASA Field Guides Association of Southern Africa
ICAR International Committee for Animal Recording
ISO International Organization for Standardization
IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature
NEMBA South African National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004
NEMA South African National Environmental Management Act, 1991
LR Lion Registry
OIE World Organisation for Animal Health
RFID Radio Frequency Identification
SAPA South African Predator Association
TOPS Threatened or Protected Species
USFWS United States Fish and Wildlife Services

 

4. Introduction

4.1. The Need for Standards and Regulations

The captive lion industry has been the subject of much negative publicity in recent years and this often overshadows the advantages of the sector.
One of the main challenges is to have a legally binding set of norms and standards in place to give credibility to this sector and to provide assurances on the ethical treatment of the animals and the integrity of operators. This can be done by establishing detailed norms and standards that are enforceable as regulations in terms of relevant legislation.

4.2. Current Legislation and the Hunting of Captive Lions

The captive lion industry requires legislation that facilitates a proactive approach to ensure that sound hunting practices are adhered to at all times. There is often the mistaken perception that all hunting of captive bred lions is so-called “canned hunting”, a practice that is illegal in South Africa. The required legislation needs to address and eliminate this misconception.

Captive lions are subject to certain provisions of the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004) and any relevant regulations such as those dealing with Threatened or Protected Species (TOPS). This legislation is administered by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).

In addition, all captive lion operations are subject to the relevant Provincial ordinances under which they fall, and these differ considerably as far as certain aspects such as identification, minimum enclosure sizes and minimum release periods are concerned. This can be problematic when animals are translocated and relocated to another Province. A uniform national standard would ensure consistencies as far as issues pertaining to the hunting of captive bred lions are concerned.

With these facts in mind, this document takes cognizance of all the relevant facts - to obviate inconsistencies within existing legislation and focus on the ethical hunting of captive bred lions.

4.3. Major Concerns

Seen from a national and international perspective, there are five key areas of concern relating to the South African captive bred lion hunting industry that this document will aim to address:

  • The size of the hunting area;
  • The release period prior to the hunt;
  • The limitation of human imprinting on lions that will be hunted;
  • The hunting methods; and
  • The misrepresentation of facts to hunting clients (hunters).

The norms and standards set out below are aimed at addressing the above concerns in such a way that the hunting of captive bred lions is brought in line with best practices in the national and international trophy hunting industry.

4.4. Objectives of this Document

Considering the provisions relating to the hunting of captive bred lions, as contained in the Threatened or Protected Species (TOPS) Regulations that have been promulgated under the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004), recognizing the differences in provincial legislative requirements, and considering the deficiencies and limitations of these requirements, the South African Predator Association wishes to proclaim its standards and requirements for this all important sector of the large predator industry. The aim of these standards and requirements is three fold:

  • to create uniformity amidst large differences between provincial standards, requirements and legislation;
  • to define the ground rules for the hunting of captive bred lions; and
  • to create a basis for alignment with the international and professional hunting industries.

The requirements set out hereunder will be binding on all members of the South African Predator Association. Failure to comply with these norms and standards will lead to disciplinary action and possible expulsion of the offender.

5. Categories of Captive Lions in South Africa

Captive lions include released, free-roaming lions, lion breeding operations (bred under controlled conditions), the hunting of captive-bred lions, tourism facilities that are recognised as commercial exhibition facilities that include lion interaction experiences, lion research facilities, zoos and lion parks, and the entertainment industry (circuses, animals trained for the film industry etc.).

Captive bred lions are divided into two distinct categories:

  1. Ranch Lions - are lions that are bred for consumptive sustainable utilisation purposes.
  2. Working Lions - are lions that have on-going human interaction before and beyond the age of 3 months, whether for display, contact or other types of interaction, and may not be hunted.

Within these two categories distinct differentiation is made in permissible management and/or operational practices. These categories need to apply certain uniform standards that include identification, registration, certification, and licensing, as well as DNA profiling of all animals, and the relevant record-keeping.

The norms and standards set out below are aimed at addressing the above in such a way that the lion industry is brought in line with best practices recognised nationally and internationally.

6. Animal Welfare

For proper welfare within the lion industry the following must be ensured:

  • No animal suffers from undue hunger, thirst or malnutrition.
  • No animal suffers from undue fear and distress.
  • No animal suffers from undue physical or thermal discomfort.
  • No animal suffers from undue pain, injury or disease.
  • Animals are able to express normal patterns of behaviour.

7. Breeding and Keeping Ranch Lions for Hunting

The SAPA Norms and Standards for Breeding and Keeping Captive Bred Lions document contain standards that must be adhered to with regard to enclosure, fencing, animal husbandry and management practices. In addition, the document specifies the differentiation and specific marking of lions in order to ensure that no wild lion without the necessary legal permits or working (human contact) lion may ever be hunted.

8. Underlying Principles of Hunting South African Ranch Lions

The basic norm for hunting captive bred lions is that only ranch lions that were raised and kept under conditions deliberately aimed at preventing human imprinting may be hunted. For hunting purposes, human imprinting on lions needs to be kept to an absolute minimum. This means that lions destined for hunting should be kept as unhabituated as possible and should be raised and kept in a way that prevents human imprinting.

Complementary to this basic norm, the preparation, as well as the conduct during the hunt is to be in line with internationally accepted standards.
 

SECTION A: RANCH LION FACILITIES

9. Facilities for Keeping and Breeding Ranch Lions for Consumptive use

Facilities for animals destined for hunting are to be designed and constructed in accordance with the relevant provincial legislation. If no provincial specifications exist, the SAPA requirements will apply. SAPA recommends that the standard that is most stringent be adhered to.

The following standards with regard to keeping facilities must be adhered to:

  • Minimum size of:400m2 per animal
  • Positioning for minimum human imprinting

10. Facilities for Hunting

10.1. The size of the hunting area must comply with the relevant provincial legislation as a minimum.
10.2. SAPA recommends that the habitat and topography of the hunting area must also be taken into consideration and not only the size of the area.
10.3. SAPA recommends a minimum area of 1000ha with appropriate adjustments depending on habitat and topography.
10.4. Additional recommendations:

  • Natural veld area with a diversity of habitat
  • No cultivated land
  • Sufficient non-domesticated prey of a variety of species available.
  • Water provisioned area.
  • Position of hunting area at least 1 km away from breeding/keeping facilities
  • Minimal unnatural structures

11. Release for Hunting

11.1. Animals must be released according to the relevant prescribed legal requirements.
11.2. SAPA preferred minimum release period is 7 days prior to the hunt.

12. Breeding and Keeping for Hunting

12.1. Breeding for Hunting
12.1.1. No breeding animals are to be sourced from wild populations without the legally required permits.
12.1.2. Only genetically sound and healthy animals may be used for breeding.
12.1.3. Genetic identification and recording of all breeding lions is compulsory.

12.2. Keeping for Hunting
12.2.1. Minimum interaction with humans from birth.
12.2.2. No hand rearing of cubs unless for veterinary reasons.
12.2.3. Cubs may not be weaned before 3 months of age, unless for veterinary reasons.
12.2.4. Cubs may not be handled beyond the age of three months.
12.2.5. General “hands off” management techniques with regard to feeding, husbandry, medical care and environmental enrichment are to be applied.
12.2.6. Identification and recording of animals bred and raised for hunting purposes is recommended.
12.2.7. No hunting of human imprinted animals (working lions) is permitted.

13. Husbandry of Lions for Hunting
 

13.1. Safety
A safety plan, as part of the Management Plan must be approved by the relevant provincial authority.
13.1.1. Construction of facilities and management systems are to comply with the relevant provincial legislation and/or the SAPA Norms and Standards, whichever is the more stringent.
13.1.2. Required signage of correct size and type is compulsory.
13.1.3. The Safety Plan should address fire, noise, intruders, escapes, disease, power failures, floods, dangerous misconduct of staff, keys and alarm management.
13.1.4. Enclosures should be checked on a daily basis for any damage to fences and/or any problems with electrification.

13.2. Health
A health plan, as part of the Management Plan must be approved by the relevant provincial authority. Best practice to be followed for maintenance, cleaning, disease prevention, parasite prevention, odours, fly and flea prevention and bio-security.

13.3. Feeding
A feeding plan, as part of the Management Plan must be approved by the relevant provincial authority.
13.3.1. Feeding must be done in a way that minimizes exposure to humans.
13.3.2. Breeders/keepers must adhere to an appropriate feeding programme.

SECTION B: ADMINISTRATION FOR HUNTING RANCH LIONS

14. Administrative Management
 

14.1. Management Plan
A Management Plan, approved by the relevant authority, is mandatory.

14.2. Permits
Compliance with provincial, NEMBA (TOPS) and CITES permit requirements is mandatory. Copies of relevant permits must be retained.

14.3. Identification
All relevant legislative, CITES and SAPA requirements must be met. All ranch lions must be properly identified by:
14.3.1. Microchip
14.3.2. DNA Profile

14.4. Mandatory Reporting of Non-compliance
SAPA members are to notify the SAPA office, in writing, of any non-compliance to applicable legislation by any member or non-member that they are/become aware of. Professional hunters must report all non-compliance by their clients to the relevant provincial regulatory authority.

14.5. Staff
Stipulations of the Labour Relations Act and Occupational Health and Safety Act are applicable. All breeders and keepers of ranch lions are to ensure adequate training of all levels of staff involved with the management of the facilities and related procedures.

15. Marketing

All national and provincial legislation pertaining to advertising and marketing is applicable.
15.1. Marketing and Authentic Hunt
15.1.1. All relevant national and provincial legislative requirements must be met.
15.1.2. There may be no misrepresentation of the facts regarding the hunt.
15.1.3. No personification of lions (names) may be used in marketing and/or advertising.
15.1.4. Photographs of previous hunts may be used for marketing purposes.

15.2. Minimum Information Required in Marketing Material
The minimum information to be included in marketing material is:
15.2.1. That a ranch lion will be hunted.
15.2.2. That it will be a hunt following the conditions under which the permit has been issued.
15.2.3. That special arrangements may be made for disables hunters.
15.2.4. That the applicable legislative requirements are met.
15.2.5. The topography and habitat of the hunting venue.
15.2.6. The facilities and infrastructure of the hunting venue.

 

SECTION C: HUNTING RANCH LIONS

All relevant national and provincial legislation is applicable. All hunting of ranch lions is to be done according to acceptable international standards of sport hunting. All hunts should take place on SAPA accredited hunting facilities.

16. The Hunt

16.1. Authenticity of the Hunt
16.1.1. Everything possible should be done by the landowner, manager, hunting outfitter and professional hunter to deliver a real African experience to the hunting client/s.
16.1.2. Appropriate sport hunting conduct is to be applicable to all hunting of ranch lions.
16.1.3. The client must be briefed about the practice and practicalities of ranch lion hunting.
16.1.4. Measures must be in place to ensure the hunting ethics of the hunting outfitter and the professional hunter officiating at the hunt.

16.2. Service Providers
16.2.1. All service providers must be officially registered as hunting outfitters and/or professional hunters.
16.2.2. There must be a signed, valid and legally binding agreement between the hunting outfitter, the professional hunter and the authorised representative of the SAPA accredited hunting facility.

16.3. Hunting Ethics
The SAPA Norms and Standards for Hunting Ranch Lions are to be adhered to.
16.3.1. No hunting methods prohibited by NEMBA (TOPS) regulations will be allowed.
16.3.2. Hunting activities should be permitted according to the “Restricted acitivities” requirements.
16.3.3. No lions should be hunted from a vehicle, unless by prior arrangement due to specific circumstances and so agreed to by hunting client and outfitter.
16.3.4. Instruction must be provided regarding best shot placement.
16.3.5. No wounded animal will be allowed to suffer undue pain.

16.4. Requirements for an Authentic Hunt
16.4.1. A written contract, in agreement with the relevant legislation and in line with the hunting agreement and marketing material, in which all vital aspects of the hunt are stipulated.
16.4.2. The client should be properly briefed about all operational aspects of the hunt.
16.4.3. Emergency procedures must be explained to the hunter and the hunting party.
16.4.4. Hunting must take place according to the principles of fair chase.

16.5. Practices Explicitly Prohibited
All relevant national and provincial prohibitions and all prohibitions in terms of Section 72 of the NEMBA (TOPS) Regulations are applicable and to be adhered to.

16.6. Responsibilities of the Hunting Outfitter and His Professional Hunter
16.6.1. It is the outfitter’s responsibility to ensure an authentic hunt.
16.6.2. Outfitters and professional hunters must maintain the highest standards of ethics and skill during the hunt.
16.6.3. Effective tracking and hunting skills must be available on the hunt.
16.6.4. No alcohol may be consumed before and during the hunt by any member of the hunting party or service providers.
16.6.5. A maximum number of 6 people should attend the hunt.
16.6.6. A standard SAPA evaluation questionnaire must be available from the outfitter, to be completed and signed by hunter/s and returned to the SAPA office as part of the SAPA quality control procedure.

 

SECTION D: TRADE IN RANCH LION PRODUCTS AND DERIVATIVES

All relevant national and provincial legislation and all CITES regulations are applicable. Copies of relevant documentation must be available for inspection.
17. Trade in Lion Products

17.1. Keepers/breeders/outfitters and owners of registered hunting facilities may legally trade in lion products.
17.2. SAPA members must strictly comply with all statutory requirements.
17.3. SAPA members must ensure transparency and high ethical standards in the harvesting of material for trade purposes.
17.4. There must be accurate record keeping of all transactions.

 

SECTION E: CONSERVATION

The contribution to conservation of lions in the wild is an international (USFWS) requirement for the hunting of ranch lions.
18. Contribution to Conservation of the Species in the Wild

18.1. Traceability of the lions from which the contribution is made by DNA profile & microchip.
18.2. Breeding/ Keeping contribution to the SAPA Conservation and Development Fund.
18.3. Hunting contribution to the SAPA Conservation and Development Fund by means of the hunting tag purchased for each lion hunted.
18.4. Derivate contribution to the SAPA Conservation and Development Fund by means of the utilisation tag purchased for each lion from which derivatives are sold.
18.5. All contribution are to be managed through the SAPA Conservation and Development Fund.
18.6. The fund and projects it supports must be thoroughly documented and conform to legal requirements.

 


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