Rul­ing on ex­port­ing ele­phants

NSPCA wel­comes de­ci­sion against bid

The Witness - - NEWS -

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.

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