SA leads the way in global march against canned hunting

2014-03-05 08:43

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People from 44 cities around the world – “from Stockholm to Sao Paulo, Vancouver to Melbourne, and Hong Kong to Cape Town” – will be marching against lion trophies in the growing canned hunting industry.

The march was initiated by South African wildlife activists and will be held on March 15.

Animal advocacy group Campaign against Canned Hunting (Cach) said they were lobbying the South African government to ban canned hunting.

“Somewhere around a thousand people are expected to attend the march in Cape Town next Saturday,” said Cach director Chris Mercer.

“I’m angry by the pampered trophy hunters who come to South Africa for no other reason than to torture and kill hand-reared lions.”

A canned hunt is a trophy hunt in which lions are kept in a confined area (fenced in) so that the hunter can obtain a kill.

According to Wikipedia, canned hunting has been banned in 20 US states, including Alabama, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

In South Africa, former environmental affairs minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk had announced laws to stop the practice of canned hunting because he was sickened by wealthy tourists shooting tame lions from the back of a truck and felling rhino with a bow and arrow.

In 2007, canned hunting was banned in South Africa, but the SA Predator Association appealed against the ban and in 2011 won its case in the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Cach said there were fewer than 4 000 lions left in the wild in South Africa, but more than 8 000 in captivity, allegedly being bred for the “bullet or the arrow”.

“Lion farming is a real threat to wild lion prides, for many reasons. The ongoing capture of wild lions to introduce fresh blood into captive breeding, and the growth of the lion-bone trade to Asia, will impact severely on wild lions,” it said on its website.

It blamed canned hunting on government, which it claimed “is ferociously defended by wealthy vested interests”.

“Canned hunting can only be abolished by a sustained campaign to raise awareness and to change policy. Then an informed public must persuade US and EU governments to ban the import of lion/predator trophies.”

Cach said lion cubs were bred in captivity and raised to adulthood for trophy hunters to shoot them dead.

Marchers in Cape Town were expected to hand over a memorandum to government officials next Saturday.

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