Australia says no to canned lion hunting

2015-03-16 12:39


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - Australia’s Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, has delivered a broadside against the lucrative business of canned lion hunting.

In a sitting of the country’s parliament in Canberra on Thursday 12 March he had the following to say: ‘I have signed an order to prevent the importation into Australia of African lion parts and remains.

This order will take effect immediately. It is part of the global movement and I hope part of a significant movement to end canned hunting forever. It is a practice that never had a time, but it is a practice whose time has surely come to pass.’

Australia’s decision is also likely to impact on all those facilities breeding lions for other commercial purposes such as petting, ‘walking with lions’ and the lion bone trade.

Inevitably when captive young lions pass the age of being ‘safe’ to interact with humans, the writing is on the wall for them, either to feed the market for their body parts or as targets for hunters.

Lions have vanished from over 80% of their historic range and are now extinct in 28 countries. Of the remaining 27 countries in which lions survive, 26 are in Africa and one is in Asia. Only seven countries have populations greater than 1 000 wild lions.

Even in South Africa there are fewer than 3 000 wild lions, so when you consider that more than 1 000 lions are shot every year by trophy hunters it begs the question: Where do they come from?

In the South Africa there are some 160 breeding farms that hold at least 6 000 lions. Arguments that these captive bred lions take pressure off the hunting of endangered wild lions is nonsense.

One look at crashing lion numbers tells that story. Some breeders even pose as conservationists whose aim is to re-introduce lions to the wild. But this is empty rhetoric as very few captive lions have been successfully re-introduced back into the wild anywhere in Africa. These lions are bred for one purpose only: canned or captive-hunting.

Hunters prefer the term ‘captive’ to canned, but Ian Michler, a South African investigative writer, safari operator, conservationist and outspoken critic of trophy hunting says "The word ‘captive’ is as it reads, lions are being bred in captivity to be killed in."

Ian Michler visited Australia late last year to lobby for this outcome. "I can only laud the action taken by minister Hunt and his parliamentary colleagues," he said, "and I fervently hope that Australia’s brave stance will encourage other major hunting nations to follow suit. This news is as much a victory for all those people and organisations that have been fighting against the twin horrors of predator breeding and canned hunting over the last 20 years as it is for the animals themselves."

Michler went on to say that the Professional Hunting Association of South Africa had only itself to blame. "Instead of coming down hard on canned hunting outfits, their silence has been a tacit approval. "

In the coming week Michler heads off to the European Parliament where he will be lobbying for similar action from Europe. "In time, we will also target the United States," he said, "as this is where the majority of hunters come from."

This article was distributed by the Conservation Action Trust and is used with their permission.

Read more on:    australia  |  conservation  |  animals

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.