South Africa’s Government is proposing an amendment to the Meat Safety Act, aiming to add rhinos to the list of animals that can be legally consumed by humans.

The timing could not be worse as the current coronavirus crisis which has brought the world to its knees is believed to have been caused by the consumption of an endangered animal.

The proposed amendment classifies animals for slaughter, consumption, import, export and sale. The list now includes many threatened species which are at present threatened in South Africa including rhino, elephant and giraffe. It also includes undefined birds, reptiles and fish.

While the Act is under revision, members of the public can have their say via online platform Dear South Africa.

The draft amendment notice says:

‘The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Angela Thokozile Didiza, invites all interested institutions, organizations and individuals to submit written comments on the proposed update to Schedule 1, as provided for in section 1(2) of the Meat Safety Act, 2000 (Act No 40 of 2000), extending the list of animals to which the Act applies,’The original Meat Safety Act says that it aims ‘to provide for measures to promote meat safety and the safety of animal products; to establish and maintain essential national standards in respect of abattoirs; to regulate the importation and exportation of meat; and to establish meat safety schemes.’

The proposed extended list now includes a host of wild animals already on the brink of extinction.

To make your voice heard, visit Dear South Africa.