File photo: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency (ANA)
CapeTown - Budget allocation to a full staff complement, regular training and access to resources are crucial for the legal and practical regulation of the welfare of wild animals in South Africa.

This is according to the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) and the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) policy brief, which sets out updated recommendations and implementation strategies to regulate and protect the well-being of wild animals.

This includes the standardisation of laws and their implementation, ongoing education and training of conservation officers, as well as sufficient budget allocation to capacitate conservation departments.

It said the national environmental expenditure estimates as budgeted by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries were R7.5billion in costs for 2019/2020 and R7.9bn, and R8.2bn for the subsequent years.

The majority is to be allocated to biodiversity and conservation and the rest towards legal, authorisations and compliance-enforcement.

CER wildlife attorney Aadila Agjee said law reform in respect of wild animal welfare was long overdue.

EWT’s Yolan Friedmann said for years they’ve been concerned at the increasing neglect of the wellbeing of wild animals with the expansion of the wildlife economy.