An investigation into the growing South African industry of hunting lions bred in captivity has reignited a long-running controversy among hunters, captive breeders and animal rights advocates.
The Guardian’s Patrick Barkham investigated the practices of some of the 160 South African farms that legally breed lions and other wild animals — many of which, animal advocates argue, will end up being shot by hunters who pay big bucks (sometimes close to $38,000) for the experience.
One of the farms – African Sky Hunting – will arrange for you to shoot an elephant for $35,000 or a lion for the budget price of $22,000 (see price list and trophy photos below):
This is the practice known as “canned hunting,” and its popularity has increased significantly in the past few years. The South African Supreme Court in 2010 even struck down a law restricting the practice after lion breeders challenged the legislation.
“In the five years to 2006, 1,830 lion trophies were exported from South Africa,” Barkham notes in his in-depth report on canned lion hunting. “In the five years to 2011, 4,062 were exported, a 122 percent increase, and the vast majority captive-bred animals.”
Lions bred for canned hunting are generally kept in cages and released a few days before the hunt, according to Bloomberg. Pieter Potgieter, chair of the South African Predator Breeders’ Association, defended the canned lion hunts as a perfectly acceptable business.
“The principle that you breed wild animals for economic exploitation is an international norm. It takes place everywhere in the world,” Potgieter told the Agence France-Presse. “The problem is with the lions because the image has been created in the minds of people that the lion is the king of the animals. Walt Disney with his Lion King and all these things, they have created that image.”
Today, more than half of South Africa’s approximately 8,000 lions live in captivity rather than the wild, according to the AFP. Globally, there are around 32,000 African lions, a number which has seen a “substantial decline” and has earned them a “vulnerable” classification by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
While breeders claim their business is legitimate, animal rights advocates at Humane Society International argue the practice is inhumane, unethical and bad for South Africa’s image.
The Campaign Against Canned Hunting calls for a ban on canned hunting in South Africa. Chris Mercer, one of the organization’s founders, said in an email to The Huffington Post that the industry benefits from unsavory practices, such as the renting out of baby lion cubs for unwitting tourists to pet and cuddle.
“This enriches the canned hunting industry and allows lion farmers to externalise much of the cost of rearing the lionstock to huntable age,” Mercer told HuffPost. “Tourists are deceitfully assured that the cubs will be released back to the wild. All of these cubs will eventually be killed by canned hunters.”
Breeders may also capture wild lions — sometimes from neighboring countries — and smuggle them onto the farms, Mercer told Eye Witness News. “This toxic industry is going to poison the conservation of wild lions,” he told the site.
We invite you to vote FOR or AGAINST “Lion Canned Hunting in South Africa”. Please vote and also leave your comments at the bottom of this page.
Now that you’ve voted, please sign the petition:
Don’t delay! Do it today.
This article includes content from Meredith Bennett-Smith published in The Huffington Post.
You may also like:
Leave a Comment
Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days
- 120,000 dead: half of the world’s saiga die in less than a month » [1164 Views]
- Swifts migrate from Beijing to southern Africa without landing » [930 Views]
- Vicious murdering bully chosen as Britain’s national bird » [881 Views]
- Murder Most Foul in the Faroes » [834 Views]
- Butterfly wings inspire cosmetics and bomb detectors » [781 Views]
- Earth enters new extinction phase » [717 Views]
- Yellow-breasted bunting population collapses across Eurasia » [706 Views]
- Eastern Cougar extinct, no longer needs protection, says US conservation agency » [643 Views]
- Poll: Should stricter sonar controls be imposed on the US navy? » [639 Views]
- Iberian lynx: back from the brink of extinction … and run down by cars » [629 Views]
Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months
- POLL: Should the trophy hunting of giraffes be banned? » [11990 Views]
- » POLL: Should the ban on fox hunting be relaxed in the UK? [10683 Views]
- POLL: Should the Faroe Islands’ whale slaughter be allowed to continue? » [7463 Views]
- POLL: Should bear hunting be banned in the US? » [4097 Views]
- Komodo and its Dragons » [3943 Views]
- POLL: Should lion canned hunting be banned in South Africa? » [3888 Views]
- Poll: Should hunting of black bears in Florida be allowed? » [3249 Views]
- POLL: Should the slaughter of wolves in British Columbia be banned? » [2987 Views]
- Petition: Stop Lion Canned Hunting in South Africa – Shocking Video » [2774 Views]
- POLL: Should the wolf hunting contest in Idaho be stopped? » [2717 Views]