The government will ban canned hunting, despite media reports to the contrary, the Department of Environmental Affairs confirmed.
The ban will come into effect in March next year, with the promulgation of regulations in terms of the Biodiversity Act, it said in a statement.
The new regulations were unveiled to the media in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
In terms of these, captive-bred large predators, such as lions, may not be hunted before they have spent six months "released in a property".
The statement, quoting the regulations, defines the term "captive bred" as meaning "bred in a controlled environment, which means an enclosure designed to hold specimens of a listed, threatened or protected species in a way that prevents them from escaping, facilitates the intensive breeding, but excludes fenced land on which self-sustaining wildlife populations of that species are managed in an extensive wildlife system".
Media reports on Wednesday suggested government will not ban canned hunting.
There are an estimated 4 000 captive lions in breeding and hunting facilities in South Africa. -- Sapa
The critical question yet to be answered is what becomes of these 4,000 lion, the majority of which are not old enough to be "hunted" as trophies, cannot be simply released into the wild and are not wanted by zoos ?