South African hunting associations publically state need to review hunting of captive bred lions
The president of the Professional Hunters' Association of South Africa (PHASA), Hermann Meyeridricks, has written to all PHASA members appealing for a review on the position of lion hunting in South Africa.
Meyeridricks openly stated that due to a growing public awareness campaigns against the trophy hunting of lions and widespread condemnation of the practice, there is an urgent need to review the current policy of PHASA regarding the hunting of captive bred lions. Furthermore, Meyeridricks stated that the organisation’s existing policy on the issue was no longer valid.
“PHASA’s current policy on the issue is, broadly speaking, that it recognises the legality of and demand for captive-bred lion hunting, and is working with the predator breeders and government to improve its standards and conditions to a generally acceptable level. We have made little demonstrable progress on this front.” (Our emphasis)
Meyeridricks also stated that because of the pressure from airlines and shipping lines refusing to transport hunting trophies, PHASA has to mitigate the risk of reputation that canned hunting causes to South Africa’s hunting industry.
Although on the surface, this change of heart from a key organisation within the South African hunting industry is further evidence that the campaign against the industry is making progress, it must be also be viewed with caution, particularly as the news comes shortly after South African Airways (SAA) decided to go back on their decision to ban the transport of hunting trophies on its flights.
Having said that, FOUR PAWS welcomes the news as there is no doubt that the trophy hunting of captive bred lions in South Africa needs to be reviewed in its entirety. It is promising to see that the pressure applied from various organisations worldwide in driving public awareness of this cruel trade is starting to be felt by those involved in the industry in South Africa. It is now crucial that we continue to apply the pressure and make sure they hear the message that the world is watching and will fight to end this barbaric cruelty.
In addition to the news from PHASA there have been further developments in South Africa that reiterate the need for the entire industry to be reviewed. South African Outfitters, another professional hunting body, also issued a strong statement on the 26th July expressing their opposition to the hunting of canned and captive bred lions.
You can read their full statement here.
Kieran Harkin, Wildlife Campaigner at FOUR PAWS stated: “With such noises within the hunting fraternity it is time the South African government realised that the canned hunting industry represents extreme animal cruelty and that it causes huge damage to the reputation of South Africa as a nation that promotes the demise of Africa’s most iconic species.”
FOUR PAWS will continue to call for an end to the captive breeding of lions and the canned hunting industry in its entirety. Please sign and share our petition calling on the South African President Jacob Zuma and the South African Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa to oppose the powerful lobby of lion breeders and to end canned hunting.