Despite new provisions in NEM:BA and a new vision of “secured, restored, and rewilded natural landscapes with thriving populations of Elephant, Lion, Rhino, and Leopard, as indicators for a vibrant, responsible, inclusive, transformed, and sustainable wildlife sector” this version of the TOPS Regulations remains focussed on the monetization of wildlife, including the endorsement of the continuation of certain activities such as commercial exhibitions, travelling exhibition of TOPS species, which include zoos and circuses and the continuation of the breeding, trading and exporting of TOPS.
In a reply from Minister Barbara Creecy to a letter from WAPFSA members Ban Animal Trading/EMS Foundation: “The legislative mandate to regulate the well-being of wild animals, which has been included in NEM:BA as an amendment through the National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Act, 2022 (Act No. 2 of 2022), came into force on 30 June 2023 when Proclamation Notice No. 125 was published in Government Gazette No. 48869. I now have the legislative mandate to prohibit activities that may have a negative impact on the well-being of wild animals, and to make regulations in relation to the well-being of wild animals. These legislative amendments will be initiated in due course.”
WAPFSA members have proposed the addition of non-human indigenous primates to the current TOPS list as protected species.
South Africa is home to six indigenous non-human primate species: the Chacma baboon, Samango monkey, Vervet monkey, Thick-tailed Bushbaby, Southern lesser Bushbaby, and Mozambique dwarfed Bushbaby.
WAPFSA Members strongly support the fact that non-human primates have high conservation value and national importance which require regulation in order to ensure that these species are managed in an ecologically sustainable manner and are protected in compliance with Section 24 of the Constitution.
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