Ruling on exporting elephants
NSPCA welcomes decision against bid
JOHANNESBURG — The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) yesterday welcomed the high court in Pietermaritzburg’s judgment pr ohibiting the e xport of elephant s fr om South Africa.
This comes after circus owner Brian Boswell failed in his le gal bid to overthrow le gislation that outla ws exporting the animals for use in circuses.
“The N SPCA oppose s and has campaigned over many years for the abolition of wild animals in ent ertainment,” said wildlif e pr otection unit manager Martie Rossouw.
Two years ago, Boswell applied for a permit, but it was turned down by the KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Aff airs and Ez emvelo KwaZuluNatal Wildlife.
They said that “norms and s tandards f or the manag ement of elephants” issued by the minister of Environmental Aff airs, under the N ational Environmental Management Biodiversity Act (Nemba), prohibited the export of animals for circuses.
Boswell then turned to the courts, arguing that the “norms and s tandards” should be declared invalid because they were not authorised b y Nemba.
The issue was argued before Judge Dhaya Pillay.
Delivering her judgment las t Thursday, Pilla y said ther e w as a “matrix of le gislation, r egulations, directives and int ernational agr eements” governing the en vironment and, when the interpretation of a single rule arose, all had to be interpreted contextually.
She said Nemba applied to all state organs pr ovincially and nationall y.
And South Africa gave effect to its international oblig ations arising from its ratification of the Convention on Int ernational Trade in Endangered Specie s ( Cites) under Nemba.
“The minister has to report biannually on legislative, regulatory and administrative measures taken to enforce ... C ites.
“The norms and standards is such a measure … as a result of law, it must be obeyed unless it is set aside. ”
The judg e said that diff erent norms and standards applied to different biodi versities and their purpose was to give a flexible application over wide geographic and biodiverse fields, which were vulnerable to quick change. — N ews24.