Breeding large predators such as lions, cheetahs and leopards for hunting would become illegal if draft regulations unveiled on Monday become law.
"The days of captive breeding of listed species for any purposes except science and conservation are over," Environmental Affairs Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said at the launch of the proposals.
The draft Threatened and Protected Species Regulations and the eagerly-awaited draft National Norms and Standards for the Regulation of the Hunting Industry are to be published for public comment on Friday.
They would effectively ban "intensive breeding" of listed large predators, such as cheetahs, lions, leopards and wild dogs, for hunting, or to be sold for hunting.
"We are issuing lists of nationally threatened and protected species, and establishing a permit system, for the breeding, hunting, trade and transport of listed species," the minister said.
"Any person who contravenes these regulations, or who falsifies their applications, will be liable for a fine and imprisonment of up to five years... "
It would also be a crime to hunt any listed large predator kept in captivity which had not been rehabilitated in an extensive wildlife system and fending for itself in the wild for at least two years.
Existing operations would have three months from the commencement of the regulations to apply for registration.
On the draft Norms and Standards for Hunting, Van Schalkwyk said they were intended to eliminate practices that have cast a shadow on conservation efforts.
"Hunting will now be permitted only by humane methods, in accordance with strict fair chase principles, by hunters registered with recognised hunting bodies, and in terms of carefully monitored and reviewed off-take limits at both national and provincial level," he said There would be no hunting on private land that bordered national or provincial protected areas.
The SA National Biodiversity Institute would keep a hunting register, detailing how many animals had been hunted, for what purpose, where, and by what method. - Sapa