A Swiss Cheese Approach
The captive wildlife tourism space in South Africa is a complex problem. It’s unlikely that a single intervention will solve the problem, and we should rather see the solution as a Swiss cheese approach: each layer has imperfections; multiple layers improve success.
The SATSA Guidelines and Decision Tool is just one layer, designed with adoption by the tourism industry in mind. It drew a line in the sand in 2019 which represents the balance between the level of intervention and the degree of adoption by the industry, based on the knowledge gained through country-wide stakeholder engagement sessions during the development of the Guidelines and Tool. The application of additional layers (think welfare, any trade in animals, which is not illegal but regulated, individual beliefs and morals, etc.) will systematically disqualify more facilities, unless they change.