The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) and Blood Lions® released a new short YouTube film: “Care in Captivity,” to create public awareness about the welfare of captive bred lions and other predators in South Africa.
The NSPCA and Blood Lions® condemn the growing trend of captive lion facilities that exploit their lions for monetary gain. Blood Lions®, an award winning documentary and campaign gave the canned hunting, predator breeding and cub petting global exposure. While the NSPCA has a dedicated Wildlife Unit to check and monitor these predator farms regularly; the captive lion industry is growing at an alarming rate and is extremely popular in South Africa but this trade comes at a huge price—with the lack of welfare and inhumane treatment of the lions as a result.
“Animal welfare considerations are regarded as a pillar of any civilized society. In South Africa, we have a predator breeding industry that has far too many operators paying scant regard to this pillar, a situation that undermines our moral compass. Blood Lions® supports those that bring awareness to all aspects of animal welfare. And when the breeding stops, welfare will no longer be a concern,” said Ian Michler of Blood Lions®.
Lions are bred and raised in captivity—denying them of their one basic need; freedom and being wild. This comes with excessive welfare concerns from birth until death. Newly born cubs are removed from their mothers after only a few days and hand reared, often with inappropriate formulas which lack nutrition. Taking them away from their mothers causes a great deal of unnecessary stress to both the cub and the mother. These small wild animals are then excessively and constantly handled by people. Not only is this unnatural and distressing but exposes them to zoonotic diseases.
When these cubs grow and are no longer useful for petting or walking-with experiences, they end up in zoos, are used for breeding, used for trophy hunting or are euthanized for the lion bone trade for medicinal purposes. These magnificent animals become slaves to the cage and victims to a disturbing industry. They spend their entire lives in confinement and contrary to popular belief they do not add to conservation efforts.
“A common misconception given by the industry is that these lions will benefit conservation—this is not true. These lions will not ever be rehabilitated, cannot be rewilded and will not be released back into the wild—they will continue to live confined to a cage for their entire lives, prisoners to a trade that exploits these animals,” explains Arno De Klerk of the NSPCA Wildlife Protection Unit.
The NSPCA urges the public to stop supporting this industry–as long as there is a demand there will be a supply, help us end the suffering of these lions.
For more information on the captive lion industry, cub petting and canned hunting, please visit www.bloodlions.org If you would like to assist the NSPCA Wildlife Protection Unit, please visit: www.nspca.co.za