Yes, say conservationists if proposals to change The Elephant Norms and Standards (ENS) law are accepted by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).
Conservation groups are up in arms over reports that elephants could be imported and exported from the country, wild elephants legally captured for commercial use and all welfare protection for the animals removed.
Changes to the 2008 ENS were discussed at a recent (DEA) “stakeholder meeting”, which included SANParks, NSPCA, professional hunters, elephant working groups and elephant businesses.
The capture of elephants from the wild for commercial facilities such as elephant back safaris or circuses is currently prohibited. However it appears that this protection may be removed as a result.
The DEA appeared to be intent on removing laws that were being broken, “instead of addressing their shortcomings in enforcement and implementation”, said the NSPCA in a press release. “No other concrete motivations have been provided,” it added.