POLL: Should South Africa’s canned hunting industry be banned?

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South Africa’s drawing the ire of conservationists after approving the export of hundreds of skeletons from captive-bred lions this year, mainly to meet the demand for bones in parts of Asia.

This move will prop up South Africa’s sickening industry. The nation is home to an estimated 200 farms, where thousands of lions are bred just to be killed by trophy hunters every year.

The controversy began at the beginning of the year, when South Africa announced it was considering allowing the export of 800 lion skeletons, which at the time were reportedly going to come from lions who had died naturally, were euthanized, or were killed in trophy hunts.

The announcement sparked global opposition over concerns that the move would seriously undermine recent successes made toward protecting lions in the wild, including a ban in the U.S. on importing lion trophies from canned hunts in South Africa, and a vote at CITES CoP17 that bans most of the international commercial trade.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

Still, South Africa’s attempting to play it off like there are no other options to protect this species, other than to offer up parts from captive lions. In the announcement, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) said the country “reiterates its concern that if the trade in bones originating from captive bred lion is prohibited, lion bones may be sourced illegally from wild lion populations.”

There’s no question African lions, whose population has plummeted from an estimated 200,000 across the continent to an estimated 20,000 today, are facing a growing threat of in the wild. While some continue to argue this industry will take pressure off of their wild counterparts, many others disagree.

Lion advocates fear allowing these exports will help fuel the demand for lion bones, and lead to an increase in by those who want to profit from this trade, and have raised questions about how the quota was determined.

“There is not one shred of scientific evidence showing that canned hunting and legal lion bone exports take the poaching pressure off wild lion populations. In fact, it is increasingly clear that these practices stimulate demand for wild lion, leopard and tiger parts throughout the world. The CITES mandate to limit captive-bred lion skeleton exports from South Africa was a step in the right direction; with global pressure mounting on the government to ban canned hunting, we may soon see the end of this reprehensible industry,” Panthera President and Chief Conservation Officer, Dr. Luke Hunter, said in March.

The DEA also said that change will allow it to monitor issues related to the trade, and how it’s impacting wild populations, while a study has also been launched by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) to gain a better understanding of the lion bone trade and the captive lion breeding industry. Hopefully further study into the issue will help prove opponents right and end both the trade and lion farming.

“The government’s proposed quota of 800 lion skeletons for legal export has absolutely no grounding in science,” said Dr. Paul Funston, Senior Director of Panthera’s Lion Program. “It is irresponsible to establish policy that could further imperil wild lions—already in precipitous decline throughout much of Africa—when the facts are clear; South Africa’s lion breeding industry makes absolutely no positive contribution to conserving lions and, indeed, further imperils them.”

For more on how to help, check out Blood Lions and Let Lions Live.

This article was first published by Care2.com on 29 Jun 2017.

We invite you to share your opinion whether South Africa’s canned hunting industry should be banned? Please vote and leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

Should South Africa's canned hunting industry be banned?

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Editorial Comment: The purpose of this poll is to highlight important wildlife conservation issues and to encourage discussion on ways to stop . By leaving a comment and sharing this post you can help to raise awareness. Thank you for your support.


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Linda East

Yes it most certainly should be banned …it’s murder for profit plain and simple. We really need to protect and conserve our wildlife and their habitats . it’s we the human race who are the plague on the planet . We take and take for our own selfish gratification and most are not aware of our own interdependency on the species we share the planet with.Mans inhumanity to man is horrendous but mans treatment of animals is beyond comprehension….I despair,I really do.

Lyn Ibrahim

How dam stupid a question is this !! …
The most Cruelest, Evil, Atrocity done to should magnificent Lions,
and other innocent creature, and you ask should it be banned ..
Your dam Goverments and the laws of the land ( lack of) should be STOPPING this Horrendous Atrocity… Anyone with half a brain, knows this is.. WRONG! Wrong! Wrong!
Put a few of your human variety in the cage ….

JoAnne Thompson

Yes, definitely!!

Bá Ngọc

yes without a doubt

ann wardle
ann wardle

Our ecosystem is about to implode! Whether we are talking about the possibility of elephants becoming extinct in 6 years, honey bees being decimated, giraffes becoming extinct, rhino are down to one of their species among two groups in Africa, monkey and ape populations being killed of for bush meat, orangutan’s dying because of loss of habitat and ill-treatment, we are murdering, slaughtering, and killing off precious species that will be lost forever. Why? Greed! Selfishness! Ignorance! We are destroying our planet!!!

Linda East

You mirror my thoughts Ann…..well said.

Mary Buron
Mary Buron


Jacquie Munoz

this is an infamous practice, criminal and cowardly-how can a governemt tolerate this? It shoudl be banned by any civilized country.

Natasha Watson

Absolutely should be canned. No justifcation for this barbaric , ego tripping practise

Erica Parra

Killing any animal for sport is a sickness… We are on the verge of mass extinction of so many living creatures. You know in some countries they hunt humans. Maybe people would stop if this we’re allowed all over. Makes me sick. To think humanity thinks there the smartest. Stop killing Sentient beings.

Sherry Champion

What are we if we do not challenge that this industry is halted – good grief!

Ann Sands

Duh. Yes

Philippe-julio Lavorel

Of course

Gwen Kreel

Murdering an animal for sport – should carry the same penalty as MURDERING people. Murdering our wildlife is the reason why most animals are at risk of extinction!

Diane Degidio Doughty


Chris Saranchuk

It is cold blooded murder on innocent animals who cannot defend themselves, run away. It is just plain wrong.

Donna Williford Otto


Maggie Kane

Yes, banned!

Shirley Bell

No animal should be killed for this reason. This is sickening and disgusting and shamful. Mostly for trophey hunting and greed for the money that it brings.

Myrna Noble

ban it for sure

Ingrid Denissen

An absolutely terrible practice for very sick people.

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

how anyone could consider taking the life of another being as a sporting event or a source of fun, is beyond incomprehensible

Tonia Vassila

YES, immediately!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Joel Craddock


Anne Grice

There is only one answer for this scourge of the planet which will always be a DARK STAIN on South Africa’s History . There is no comaprable vileness disgust and sadistic pschopathy in the universe! YES Wipe this abhorrence off the face of this planet and all those involved!


Yes, Yes, Yes!

Tracy Whitcomb


Pauline St.Denis


Sandy Barrett George


Norma Hurt

Yes and now. Our wild life of all kinds is in real trouble. Everyone please we must STOP the slaughter while we still have some of these wonderful animals left. Please

Carol Robinson

Yes no doubt xx

Diane Seeber


Judie C. Zehr

Yes and everywhere else.

Dieter Reger


Sara Liembd


Linda Bauer

YES< please leave them alone..

Carol Anne Coughlin


Patricia Randolph

What kind of wimpy low consciousness horror of a human would want to kill a captive lion to turn it into a dead carcass? We are the worst. This is coming from the United States NRA -riddled, state and federal agencies run by and for killers and funded on killing licenses no conscience world of selfies over dead animals. If women stopped sleeping with men who kill helpless wildlife, this would end. These men and women seem to think it enhances their ego status in whose world? GET INVOLVED 60% of large mammals are threatened with extinction right now and… Read more »

Susan Davis

Good and do it should be no more killing of lovely animals

Dixie Shelton

Absolutely yes

Bernadine Applegate


Artemis Athena

yes yes yes no more suffering no more killings for fun enough with assholes..

Kat Field


Candace Passino


Lynda Jordan


Barbara Flowers


Debbie Offerman

That’s a no-brainer, definitely a yes!

Kathy Carlin


Delbert Smith

That Blood lions crap and it is crap, is a twisted lie. I know the the owner and the people who run the lodge. The morality it ranch lions save hundreds of wild lions lives daily.

Tara Wikramanayake

This is sickening. The hunters are devils not human beings.

Sue Lesmond

Shame on the disgusting morons who voted no to ban South Africas canned hunting industry.