A total of 33 wildlife species, including lions, cheetahs, rhinos and zebras, were reclassified as farm animals earlier this year.
Environmental journalist Don Pinnock wrote a detailed investigative piece on the Daily Maverick about the move.
In May, Parliament passed a brief amendment to the Animal Improvement Act (AIA) which governs livestock breeding in the country.
The amendment recategorised a number of endangered wild animals as farming stock, leaving them exposed to potential manipulation.
Pinnock believes that some breeders have managed to push the Department of Environment Forestry and Fisheries to pass the amendment so they can farm the wild animals.
It clearly has something to do with lion and rhino breeding, guys. They tend to call shots and for some reason, the government listens to them.— Don Pinnock, Environmental journalist
Once it's [classified] in farming, you can farm animals.— Don Pinnock, Environmental journalist
He says the changes could make it easier for lion bone trade and other controversial breeding practices.
Pinnock says there was no public consultation before passing the legislation, which could have dangerous consequences for biodiversity.
Listen to the full discussion on Afternoon Drive with John Maytham:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : South Africa quietly reclassifies 33 wild species as farm animals