Monday, 22 September 2014

Concerns raised that South Africa set to reduce protection for elephants

Posted by: Ainsley Hay / posted on September 16th, 2014

At a recent stakeholder meeting called by the Department of Environmental Affairs to discuss proposed amendments to the Elephant Norms and Standards, it became apparent that the Department appears to be intending to remove all welfare-based provisions relating to elephants.

The Department states that it is experiencing difficulties enforcing and implementing the Elephant Norms and Standards. This has been highlighted by the recent civil charges laid regarding the four elephant calves illegally removed from the wild at Sandhurst Safaris, and placed into captivity at Elephants of Eden and now Knysna Elephant Park, an elephant-back safari operator.

The Department is essentially proposing that instead of addressing its shortcomings in enforcement and implementation, it will simply remove the pieces of the law that are being broken. No other concrete motivations have been provided.

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