Christian South African school’s fundraiser included the auction of a lion hunt

NEWS AND COMMENT: This story comes from South Africa. I have started that way because South Africa has a bad reputation for abusing lions. They offer canned lion hunts to rich Europeans and Americans. They breed lions for these hunts. They abuse lions in the interests of financial profit. It’s a bad relationship with wildlife and animals in general.

And it seems that the attitude which allows this abuse to occur in South Africa is evident in the actions of a private school in a farming community in Northern Cape province.

Futurum Akademie's unethical lion hunt as a fundraiser which was particularly shocking as this school says that their MO is rooted in Christian beliefs
Futurum Akademie’s unethical lion hunt as a fundraiser which was particularly shocking as this school says that their MO is rooted in Christian beliefs
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The school is the Futurum Akademie which describes itself as “Afrikaans, Christian”. I find that interesting. I mean the Christian context. You would have thought that the Christian attitude would foster a sensitivity towards animal welfare, wouldn’t you? Apparently not. Although the Bible does say that humans have dominion over animals and perhaps this school take that ancient concept to heart.

The school needs to fund raise as it’s private. And their fundraising drive included normal activities such as a fun walk and a golf day. But being South Africa, they also offered an auction of a lion hunt. The prize was valued at £1,666 (R40,000) included two nights at a hunting camp in the Kalahari with a permit to shoot a lion according to a pamphlet with the school’s badge and name on it.

The Times reports that bidders at the auction for the lion hunt were able to see what was in store as there was an advert showing a sunset, a fireside meal and a hunter posing with a dead lioness. Charming. Clearly a lack of sensitivity towards wildlife conservation and the sentience of animals.

And it is this which annoyed the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA). Jacques Peacock from that organisation said that mounting pressure from animal advocacy groups had managed to persuade the school from dropping the lion hunt prize but, regrettably, they has substituted a lion hunt for two buffalo hunts instead.

This was a compromise which did not satisfy Mr Peacock as it failed to recognise the fundamental ethical problem which is offering the shooting of a sentient being as a fundraiser for a school. The animals are being viewed as commodities for financial gain when they are sentient beings deserving respect and conservation.

He said:

It is distressing to witness an educational institution, entrusted with shaping the values and attitudes of young minds, engage in such exploitative fundraising tactics. The NSPCA has long stood against the captive lion industry and has advocated for the welfare of thousands of captive lions for over two decades.

Jacques Peacock

He added:

We unequivocally oppose the hunting of animals for exhibition, entertainment, or sport. While acknowledging the role of hunting in South Africa as part of sustainable wildlife management, despite claims of a ‘clean kill’, our experience suggests that such outcomes are rare.

Jacques Peacock

The NSPCA want to end the captive lion industry in South Africa. It is reported that there are at least 8,000 privately owned lions in South African compared with 3,500 lions in the wild. Clear evidence of an attitude which is exploitative rather than concerned with conservation.

The South African government has pledged to outlaw the captive breeding of lions. It is a lucrative industry which includes exports of lion bones to China, cub petting and canned lion hunting.

Lion cub petting is cruel and to sell lion bones China is dealing in a trade which is obnoxious to many people and all animal advocates. It is feeding superstition that lion bone has some sort of magical medicinal quality when ingested by humans. It does not and it is clear superstition. There is no scientific evidence to support it.

RELATED: Canned Lion Hunting In South Africa

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