Canned Hunting in the Line of Fire?

Dear Friends,

In 2007, the South African government announced it wanted to see an end to canned hunting of large predators.  This abhorrent practice, in which animals (especially lions) are bred to be killed in enclosures, with no chance of escape, was under the spotlight.  It seemed too good to be true – was the South African government finally going to take action?  International condemnation for this type of hunting had long been drowned out by the voices of South African land owners and farmers generating huge profits from this shocking industry.  Were things really about to change for the better?

We seized the opportunity – Born Free provided detailed comments and suggestions to the government’s newly drafted hunting regulations – for sure they were a step in the right direction, but still full of loopholes for the ardent canned hunting operator to abuse.

The South African government subsequently produced their new regulations.  Sadly some of the loopholes remained.  Nevertheless, the SA Predator Breeders Association were sufficiently perturbed by the new regulations to immediately take the South African government to court. 

The government then took the unbelievable decision to leave lions out of the new regulations altogether until the resolution of the court case!  The logic of this decision is incomprehensible to me. My understanding is that the legal case could take several years to reach a conclusion.  In the meantime, therefore, the practice of canned hunting of lions will continue despite government assurances to the contrary.

What are we to make of this situation given previously made public statements clearly announcing that the government is “…putting an end, once and for all, to the reprehensible practice of canned hunting.” (quote from a speech by South African Environment Minister Mr Marthinus Van Schalkwyk, 20th February 2007). 

Combine this with the government’s apparent lack of commitment to putting in place a contingency plan to deal with the displaced predators that will fall under these regulations (including lions, once they are included). We believe that, astonishingly, there could be 5-6000 lions languishing in breeding centres across South Africa.  What will happen to them?  Who will pay for their expensive lifetime care?  I can’t see the hunting fraternity setting up lion sanctuaries… will they simply be ‘terminated’?

I am sure many of you will have watched Louis Theroux’s programme on Sunday evening about Canned Hunting in South Africa exposing the shocking reality behind canned hunting.  According to one contributor, just 2% of people have the killer instinct.  Well I’m one of them! I want to kill off the canned hunting industry for good!

Blogging off,


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