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UK Government urged to follow suit as Australia become first country to ban import of lion hunting trophies


© FOUR PAWS | 2015

Melbourne/London, 13.03.2015 – The UK Government has been urged to ban the import of lion hunting trophies today, as animal welfare groups and concerned members of the public gather in Trafalgar Square to participate in the London leg of the Global March for Lions, an event which is running in several cities across the world.


At the march in Melbourne, the decision to ban the import of lion body parts to prevent hunters from bringing home hunting trophies was announced, in a move which has been welcomed by animal welfare groups. The ban is the first of its kind and sets a global precedent for the protection of African lions. FOUR PAWS UK welcomes the ban and calls on the UK to follow suit. The ban, which takes immediate effect, was announced by Australia’s Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, and is a response to community outrage over canned lion hunting in South Africa.


“In canned hunting, captive bred lions that are used to human contact are shot in small enclosures with no chance of escape. Up to 1,000 lions are killed in this barbaric industry every year,” said Julie Sanders, Country Manager of FOUR PAWS UK.


“Between 2010 and 2013, 91 lions and lion body parts were imported to Australia. This contrasts with an average of 400 per year to the USA and 200 per year to EU Member States between 2007 and 2012, which explains why it is so important for these countries to follow Australia’s example. We also hope the next UK Government will take this issue seriously and impose a ban on imports. As captive bred lions have no legal protection in South Africa, a similar decision from the UK would bring hope to animals in the unethical South African lion industry and to the last remaining majestic big cats living in the wild,” Sanders explained.


The new law in Australia will mean a maximum penalty for wildlife trade offences of 10 years imprisonment and fines of up to $170,000 for individuals. Corporations that breach the ban could face fines amounting to $850,000.


“These new rules mean that if you go overseas and engage in the appalling act of canned hunting, you can forget about bringing your lion trophies back to Australia. You don’t deserve the right to celebrate the slaughter of these amazing creatures,” Minister Hunt said in an official statement.


FOUR PAWS congratulates For the Love of Wildlife, MP Jason Wood and Environment Minister Greg Hunt for championing this cause in Australia and will continue its international campaign to end canned hunting in South Africa. FOUR PAWS’ Big Cat Sanctuary LIONSROCK offers refuge for rescued lions from breeding or hunting farms.