Durban - People keeping wild animals captive in KwaZulu-Natal will, from this month, have to follow a rigid new set of terms and conditions relating to their licensing. Also regulated is the size of the animals’ enclosures, their treatment, and their use for commercial gain.
The Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s Board has announced that it had approved and adopted these new terms and conditions after a six-year-long public consultation process.
Ezemvelo spokesperson Musa Mntambo said non-conformity would be illegal.
One of the major changes to the rules is the size of enclosures required for animals.
The new stipulations are:
l 1 000m2, 5m-high enclosure for a pair of leopards.
l 4 000m2, 5m-high enclosure for four lions.
l 2 000m2, 5m-high enclosure for a pair of tigers.
l 30 000m2 open enclosure for six elephants.
Depending on the type of baboon, a 120-500m2, 5-6m-high enclosure will have to be provided for four to 10 animals.
Terms and conditions relating to the transport of animals have also been included.
Mntambo described the new terms and conditions as “pioneering”.
The UK, Australia and countries in Europe had already taken similar measures, Mntambo said, but this was the first set of standards ever devised in South Africa for keeping wild animals.
Mntambo said those wishing to upgrade their facilities to comply with the new terms and conditions would be afforded “reasonable time” to do so.
They have been posted on the Ezemvelo website (www.kznwildlife.com).
Brain Boswell, of the Natal Zoo and the Boswell Wilkie Circus, said he supported regulations prohibiting the abuse of animals and providing for healthy diets for them.
The circus had always followed the correct channels in obtaining licences to transport its animals, he added.
“But when it comes to cage sizes, the authorities keep changing their minds,” Boswell said,
“Every six months, they want to make them bigger, and it’s just not possible. There are also financial implications.” - The Mercury