The NSPCA welcomed the opportunity offered by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) to provide information and insight on matters pertaining to elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros as requested by the Advisory Committee (High–Level Panel) appointed under section 3A of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998).
The Advisory Committee is responsible for a review process on existing policies, legislation and practices relating to the management and handling, breeding, hunting and trade of elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros, as contemplated in the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004).
In response to an invitation for the public to make submissions, we responded to ensure that the NSPCA’s pursued litigation triumphs for animal welfare that resulted in the respected recognition by the Constitutional Court of South Africa (Case no. CCT 1/16) that animal welfare and animal conservation reflect two intertwined values will be incorporated into the overall management of wildlife industry of South Africa. In addition, in a High Court ruling in favour of the NSPCA (Case No. 86515/2017), the court stated that regardless if animal welfare does not form part of a governmental department’s mandate, the government is now legally obligated to consider animal welfare in all its conservation decisions, otherwise it goes against the spirit of Section 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
The NSPCA is now awaiting feedback based on the review process by the Advisory Committee. The complex nature of each of the topics under review by the Advisor Committee as provided in the terms of reference is simplified by the fact that if would be both irresponsible and reckless if humanity continues on the current trajectory, ignoring the collective warnings and threats caused to the natural environment and the species dependant on it for survival.
NSPCA submission to Advisory Committee 15 June 2020