South Africa is not sufficiently interested in animal welfare. The country’s authorities and the businesses in that country are simply more interested in making money out of the wild species which happen to inhabit the country and this, of course, includes the lion; the animal which is most abused and exploited.
The president of South Africa, Mr Zuma, defended the Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer who the world knows shot Cecil the lion with a bow and arrow. Yes, the president of South Africa appears to be supporting illegal trophy hunting in Zimbabwe. Mr Zuma laughed as he speculated that Mr Palmer “did not know, took a nice lion, and it was Cecil”.
The burgeoning canned lion hunting business sends signals to the world that, in all truth, South Africans don’t care enough about the conservation of the lion in their country. The farmers are too busy making money out of this magnificent animal and they’re making the money in an obnoxious way by breeding lions in confined conditions so that 1,000 each year can be killed by mainly American tourists. There are objectors in the country but they are a small voice drowned out by the sound of the rifle shot.
Farmers in South Africa are making huge profits from canned lion hunting. We are told that around 7,000 Lions in South Africa have spent their entire lives in captivity being bred to be hunted in confined spaces for the pleasure of trophy hunters. The lions are often kept in tiny, crowded pens. They are fed on bad diets such as meat from dubious sources.
The Times newspaper reports that hundreds of American tourists leaf through lion brochures picking out the animal they want to kill based on its picture and price. They then travel to South Africa where they shoot it with a bow and arrow or perhaps a rifle soon after it is released from its cage.
Canned lion hunting is legal in South Africa. Even people in authority whose duty it is to preserve the environment such as the country’s environment minister argue that canned lion hunting is a source of “job creation, community development and social upliftment”. It’s a bit of a laugh isn’t it? How can the slaughter of lions be socially uplifting?
In South Africa, there are about three times as many captive bred lions as there are wild lions. There are almost no regulations concerning captive bred lions.
“There are permit conditions, but nobody ever enforces them. Were talking about a massive conspiracy to ensure hunting privileges are not impinged upon,” Chris Mercer, a veteran lion rights campaigner, said.
The estimated annual revenue generated by canned hunting is about $14 million. Each foreigner pays around £20,000 to kill a lion.
The lion breeders have a hunger for profits and a disdain for their welfare. The business is becoming highly profitable and is driven solely by profit. The money is finding its way to people other than the businesses such as the authorities.
Perhaps these businesses trot out the usual platitudes and say that what they’re doing is good for conservation but obviously it is not. Common sense dictates that conclusion.
Campaigners say that captive bred lions do nothing for conservation as they are “genetically contaminated” because of intensive breeding and they can never be released into the wild. The business also promotes the concept that lions are objects to be abused. The lions are treated as unfeeling objects.
Once the Lions have been shot, taxidermists are called upon to mount the carcasses whereupon they are flown out to their client. This is where a ban on the importation of trophies into the European Union and North America would help put a stop to these businesses. Australia does ban the import of lion parts. I suspect we don’t see many Australians coming to South Africa to shoot lions. Also, you may remember that Jo wrote about certain airlines prohibiting the transportation of game trophies. However, South African Airways permits it.
Ironically, the trophy hunters who insist upon killing animals in the wild say that their activities are tainted by canned hunting.
“They’re like lambs bred for the slaughter,” Paul stones, who has been conducting hunting safaris for 25 years said.
He says that the lions are not hunted. They’re simply shot for the pleasure of killing. This is about that. Some people like violence. They get pleasure from violence. This is legalised violence. They want to kill something. They have guns they have to use or crossbows. They are made to kill. These people must kill. They like killing animals. It is disgraceful.
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