SAPA's response to a Post on Facebook by Justin Fernandes
Photo Source: Justin Fernandes | Facebook
The South African Predator Association has learnt with great dismay of the appalling predicament of the lions belonging to, as far as our information stretches, Mr Walter Slippers of Ingogo Safaris in Limpopo. Mr Slippers is not, nor has he ever been, a member of our association. Our members, who include lion breeders and operators of lion hunting facilities, care deeply about lions. We believe that the future of the lion in South Africa can only be assured if committed farmers are allowed to carefully breed and utilize this marvellous species in a sustainable, responsible manner. If Mr Slippers had been a member of SAPA and owner of a SAPA-accredited facility, we would have taken note of the unfolding tragedy and would have been in a position to act much earlier to prevent this lamentable state of affairs.
One of our board members has already travelled to the farm to assess the situation. SAPA, through its members, is in a position, and completely willing, to step in and address the crisis. Our members have offered food, veterinary assistance and, where necessary, to remove and accommodate these hapless animals at SAPA-accredited farms, all at their own expense. Because of SAPA’s very stringent accreditation process these facilities are equipped to provide spacious, safe, comfortable sanctuaries for these lions to recuperate and thrive.
SAPA commends the SPCA for their brisk action in the matter and especially that of Ms. Isabel Wentzel. We however urge the Society not to exploit the situation by trying to taint the entire industry in the light of the regrettable situation at Mr. Slippers’ facility. That would be analogous to condemning pet ownership because of a single dog found tied up and malnourished in a backyard. The SPCA has gone to some lengths to inspect SAPA-accredited facilities and have not reported any misgivings about the facilities, practices or state of the animals.. Recently, for instance, the SPCA conducted a very thorough inspection at facilities owned by SAPA member, Clayton Fletcher, and declared themselves satisfied with the layout, state and management of the place.
The South African Predator Association has long warned that the rabid media campaign against sustainable captive-bred lion hunting will lead to a breakdown in certain vulnerable sectors of the industry as the commercial value of lions plummets, causing tremendous anguish to owners and, significantly, misery to thousands of animals. Animal rights activists have for too long exploited the lion to prop up their own personal, philosophical ideals and for their own financial gain. Inevitably, in their brutal, knee-jerk fashion, they will blame the trophy hunting trade for the dire situation at Mr Slippers’ facilities, whereas, clearly, it is their uncaring meddling which is causing massive damage to an above-board industry, and enormous, unnecessary suffering to the animals they purport to love – the African lion.
Find attached to this press release, photographs of the fine condition of lions at a typical SAPA-accredited facility.