You cannot ban all hunting

2015-08-12 09:32

The crisis generated by the latest animal rights propaganda campaign - over the so-called “Murder of Cecil the Lion” just outside Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park - is a blight on mankind’s intelligence.   This new, false and emotional projection is merely one episode in a continuing series of distorted hunting stories spread by these nefarious people.  Their ultimate purpose is to ban ALL hunting - which would be disastrous for wildlife throughout the world.

I worked for the National Parks Department in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe for 24 years, and I was the Provincial Game Warden-in-charge of Hwange National Park before I vacated Zimbabwe in 1983.

Here are some general facts about the African lion: Lionesses breed at 30 months old - and they continue to breed until they are 15. Their gestation period is 3 months.  There are 3 - 4 cubs in each litter.   At 22 months the males are bigger than their mothers.  Young lions are evicted from their parental prides at this time. They then become nomads and wander round the game reserve searching for a place they can call their own.  But all the territories are occupied by adult lions, so the youngsters are constantly chased from pillar to post.  Many are killed by the mature males they encounter.  They also have trouble making kills - because of their inexperience.  Many nomads, therefore, die of starvation and their bodies are eaten by other lions, hyenas or vultures.   Others are pushed out of the national park and take up residence on private farms and in tribal areas.  There they don't have big lions to contend with and they have abundant domestic stock (and humans in some cases) to live off.

I have shot many 2 to 4 year old stock-killing lions all around Hwange National Park; and several man-eaters, too.  Occasionally, I killed really big lions outside the park after they had been dispossessed of their territories inside the park, by a younger and stronger male.   There is, therefore, no shortage of lions.  They breed like domestic cats and they mature very quickly.  Hwange's lion territories are all FULL.  And if, for any reason, a lioness loses her cubs, she immediately comes into eostrus and, within three or four months, gives birth to another litter.  So, when the animal rights brigade or the media call the lion "an endangered species" they are talking utter rubbish.  The lion is no more endangered than the common field mouse. History has demonstrated that where there is a demand for a commodity there will emerge a provider.  Some people are prepared to pay high prices for a canned lion to shoot - and the land on which that lion lives is retained in as near a pristine condition as possible (no cattle, sheep, goats or crops).  As a consequence, the landowner benefits from canned lion hunting and so does the natural environment.

There will always be a demand for lion bones - for making soup in the Far East. Therefore - whether you agree with canned lion hunting or not - it is preferable to support a legal and controllable canned lion hunting industry than to prohibit it; and it is much better to provide a legal and controllable source of lion bones for sale to people in the Far East, than to create conditions that will promote their illegal procurement.  The black market cannot be controlled!   And we don’t want our poverty stricken rural people to begin poisoning and snaring lions to satisfy the demand for their bones.

The controversy surrounding Cecil the hunted wild lion from Hwange is pathetic.  The lion was shot - yes -  but the furore surrounding that fact was manufactured by the animal rights brigade whose ultimate purpose is to ABOLISH all animal ‘uses’ by man.  The animal rightists say they want ‘canned’ lion hunting stopped because a‘wild’ lion was hunted!  Where is the logic in that argument?  But the whole world seems to have been taken in by their subterfuge.  That, too, is pathetic.  How gullible has our society become?  Most South Africans will be sorry when the animal rightists close down cattle and sheep farming, and the abattoirs - which are all on their targetlist.  Whatever will South Africans THEN have to braai after the rugby match on a Saturday evening?

It is a fact that the animal rightists cannot achieve their objectives without violating the legitimate rights of other people.  There is, therefore, no place for the animal rights doctrine in any civilized society.

And be advised: the animal ‘rights’ doctrine has nothing to do with animal ‘welfare’.

So don’t let them fool you into supporting them with regard to this ridiculous controversy.

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