Environmental Minister Barbara Creecy has moved to veto an amendment to the existing Meat Safety Act, which would allow for the commercial sale of lion meat in South Africa. The changes were initially proposed by Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza, but the Cabinet now face a battle amongst themselves on this issue.
Could lion meat soon be sold commercially in South Africa?
The highly divisive subject is set to rumble on for the next few weeks at least. Didiza’s proposals have been sent back to her office, and Creecy has warned her colleague that putting lion meat on the menu is likely to encourage illegal activities such as poaching and animal abuse.
Minister Didiza gazetted the proposed amendment to the Meat Safety Act 2000 (MSA) earlier this year which would have allowed for the commercial sale of lion meat.
— Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) November 20, 2020
DA far from impressed
Creecy does have support from the DA, who have also made their disdain for the lion meat trade clear. Hannah Shameema-Winkler is the Shadow Deputy Minister for Environmental Affairs. She states that greater protections need to be put in place for South Africa’s wildlife, in order to stop criminals from profiting off the maltreatment of SA’s wildlife:
“We welcome Barbara Creecy’s emphatic veto on the commercial sale of lion meat, stating in answer to a question posed by the DA, that she had flagged the issue with the Minister of Agriculture, Thoko Didiza. A proposed amendment to the Meat Safety Act 2000 (MSA) was gazetted earlier this year. It would’ve allowed for the commercial sale of lion meat.”
“During the course of the meeting, it was revealed that the inclusion of TOPS species in Schedule 1 of the MSA would in fact also apply to lions, despite the fact that lions were not explicitly mentioned in the amendment to Schedule 1 of the act
“We encourage Minister Didiza to heed Minister Creecy’s decision to not allow for the legal commercial sale of lion meat. As it is, the captive predator breeding industry is beleaguered by controversy and welfare concerns over captive lion hunts and the export of lion bones. South Africa’s wildlife belongs to all of us.”