National Biodiversity Framework Submission
On 3 May 2021, Animal Law Reform South Africa together with the EMS Foundation provided our Submission on South Africa’s Draft Revised National Biodiversity Framework (“NBF”) Published for Public Comment in Terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004).
In our Submission we call on the Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Environment to respond to the need for transformational change in relation to biodiversity and wildlife more generally. We also provide background and context to this and other issues as they relate to the South African Constitution. We call on the Department to include key threats, sectors and stakeholders within the NBF, and provide comments on specific portions of the NBF.
Live Export Submission
On 30 April 2021, Animal Law Reform South Africa, together with the Centre for Applied Legal Studies submitted our comments on the Draft Guidelines for the transportation of Live Animals by Sea.
Climate Change – NDC Submission
On 30 April 2021, Animal Law Reform South Africa, together with the Environmental Law Association of South Africa submitted our initial comments on South Africa’s updated draft Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).
The updated draft NDC is the cornerstone of South Africa’s climate change response, and thus is a critical tool in tackling climate change. It is South Africa’s commitment in terms of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Paris Agreement (PA) to contribute to the global climate change effort.
“Justice for Animals” Publication
This Publication has been put together to assemble the fantastic work and efforts flowing from the 2019 Cape Town Animal Conference. We are extremely grateful to have been part of the Organising Collective for the Conference.
We hope that you enjoy the Publication!
Webinar: “What is Animal Law?”
We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who attended our Webinar on 22 July 2020 exploring the topic of – “What is Animal Law?”, and a special thank you to Professor Joyce Tischler for her wonderful presentation.
We had a great turnout, and had people participating from Africa, Europe, America, Asia, North and South America and Australia.
We look forward to many more Webinars in the future, and will keep you updated of our next one.
High Level Panel Work
(Elephants, Rhinos, Lions and Leopards)
On 15 June 2020, Animal Law Reform South Africa together with the EMS Foundation provided our detailed Submission on the High Level Panel set up by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries to Review Policies, Legislation and Practices on Matters Related to the Management, Breeding, Hunting, Trade and Handling of Elephant, Lion, Leopard and Rhinoceros and Related Matters
On 6 October 2020, Animal Law Reform South Africa together with the EMS Foundation presented our Submission to the High Level Panel set up by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries for the Review of Policies, Legislation and Practices on the Management, Breeding, Hunting, Trade and Handling of the Elephant, Lion, Leopard and Rhinoceros.
On 31 October 2020, Animal Law Reform South Africa together with the EMS Foundation submitted answers to additional questions received from the High Level Panel arising from our Submission and Presentation.
Meat Safety Act Comments
On 30th June 2020, Animal Law Reform South Africa, together with the EMS Foundation, provided our comments on the proposed Amendments to Schedule 1 of the Meat Safety Act 2002 (“MSA”) to the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (“DALRRD”).
Comments on the draft Animals Protection Amendment Bill, 2020
On 14 October 2020, we provided our comments on the Proposed Draft Animals Protection Amendment Bill. The Bill seeks to among other things, prohibit the testing of cosmetics on animals as well as the sale and manufacturing of cosmetics that are tested on animals. We welcome the intention behind this Draft Bill and support these efforts. Our comments included information that we believe may assist with the content of the Draft Bill, certain resources as well as some practical considerations as they pertain to the Draft Bill and the enforcement thereof.
Book Release: “Unfair Game” by Lord Aschcroft
(Picture Credit: Unfair Game / Lord Ashcroft: https://www.lordashcroft.com/2020/03/unfair-game/)
“Unfair Game” published on 16 June 2020 reveals the shocking results of an undercover operation into South Africa’s lion business by Lord Ashcroft. In this powerful exposé, he highlights issues with captive lions, including the increasing dangers to public health, the impacts on wild lions, the cruelty involved as well as economic and vested interests.
Animal Law Reform South Africa’s Co-founder and Director, Amy P. Wilson was interviewed as part of Lord Ashcroft’s inquiry and provided information as to certain legal aspects of the industry. In the book, Wilson notes the plethora of issues with the current regulation of wildlife in South Africa generally, as well as the underlying legal circumstances that have allowed the captive-lion industry to flourish.
Importantly, she notes that because of these: “…wild lions, once the pride of South Africa, have essentially been reduced to agricultural animals”.
Dairy Advertising Matter
(Prepared by Joanne Fairbrother, one of the Complainants in the matter)
We welcome the Ruling of the Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) Appeals Committee in the matter of Fair Cape Dairies vs Kemp, Fairbrother, others made on 30 April 2020. The original complaints to the ARB stemmed from Fair Cape Dairies’ advertising utilising the words #HappyCows and “humane”. These complaints were dismissed by the Directorate, however, the Appeals Committee disagreed with the Directorate’s Ruling.
In their decision, they state that:
“… The use of the phrases/words “#HappyCows” and “humane” by Fair Cape in its advertising is in breach of clause 4.1 and 4.2.1 of the Code [of Advertising Practice].
…Fair Cape is instructed to withdraw the phrases/words “#HappyCows” and “humane” from its advertising in accordance with clause 15.3 and 15.5 of the Procedural Guide.”
Animal Law Reform South Africa is thankful to have been involved throughout this matter and providing research, input and various other assistance. We are proud of the decision and the work involved, and hope that this will encourage further action in the future.
Currently in relation to animals, the law is generally inadequate in both its provisions and enforcement. In many instances, policy and legislation fail to reflect our complex relationship with our fellow earthlings and provide them and us with the protection we all deserve!
Despite this, our courts have made a number of positive statements regarding animals and their status, indicating that they are sentient beings and elevating the welfare and protection of non-human animals to a constitutional concern.
This together with the increased public support for and emphasis on animal welfare, presents an opportunity to reform the law. Animals, like other vulnerable beings, need lawyers.
We work through three main pillars:
Animal Wellbeing | Law | Social Justice
We focus on a few key areas that we believe will bring about the most change. These focus areas include:
1. Legislative and Policy Reform
2. Litigation and Legal Services
3. Education and Research
We work collaboratively with a number of organisations in South Africa, Africa and internationally.
We are proud members of the following networks and alliances:
In the future:
In line with our Mission and Vision, we strive to provide excellent work that is useful and reliable for relevant stakeholders. We have some exciting initiatives planned for 2021.
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