He is worth £20,000 shot dead - Photo by Martin_Heigan
28-12-09: Canned Lion Hunting In South Africa is an abomination to all decent minded people yet it is popular enough and it is accepted by the authorities no doubt for financial reasons (isn't it always?).
Yet there is talk about it being regulated (not banned). Even regulating it has caused an outcry by the organisers of canned lion hunts.
What are canned lion hunts exactly?
"Canned hunting is the hunting of an animal where the target is unfairly prevented from escaping the hunter, because of either physical constraints (fenced in) or mental constraints (habituation to humans)." (src:
In other words one of the world's greatest wild animals is bred to be shot in an enclosure at relatively close range in a set up "hunt" that must always result in the death of the lion.
This is for the pleasure of egocentric and arrogant individuals who want to delude themselves (and no doubt misrepresent the truth to others) into thinking that they are big white hunters of old. They will no doubt go home with a lion's head stuck on a plaque and present it to their adoring family.
OK it is ridiculous. The new regulations stipulate that the lion cannot be shot until 2 years has elapsed between being bred and shot. Not great progress on the face of it.
Yet, the callous breeders are complaining. They are saying that it will force them out of business. Good. They say it takes £800 per month to feed a lion. The chairman of the South African Predator Breeders' Association (association), Carel an Heerden says that the new regulations will be the end of the road for their members.
For that reason they have taken the authorities to the Supreme Court claiming that the law violates their constitutional rights. The association says that the regulations are against the welfare of the lions! Funny how deluded people can become.
The argument is that if the regulations are enforced they will have to shoot all of their lions themselves as they wouldn't be able to afford to look after them. So a terrible wrong, the slaughter of 4,000 lions, (yes, 4,000 lions!) by the association's members is used as a defense against regulations that stop the slaughter of lions in a slightly different way - bizarre really.
The association says, defiantly that,
"We don't breed them to kill them, we breed them to hunt them".
What is the difference if the hunt is canned and the lion has no possibility of escape?
Hunting in any event is passé, it is old fashioned, a legacy of the past that refuses to go away because some oafish idiots keep it going. But canned lion hunting in South Africa is hideous. It is the commercial exploitation of a magnificent wild cat with total disregard for its welfare.
It is almost inevitable, I feel, that the lions will be inbred and that itself creates health issues for some lions before they are shot. And how accurately are they shot? Pain and suffering for the pleasure of humankind.
For the record, these nasty people charge a punter £20,000 to kill a male lion and a female cost £3,000. May commonsense and decency prevail and may the Supreme Court of South Africa throw out the association's appeal.
Photo: Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic license.