It’s a “despicable practice”
according to the former Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk.
In 2007 legislation was passed in South Africa restricting the practice of “Canned Hunting”. This month Animal Rights activists were dismayed when the courts cleared the way for the unregulated practice to begin again, while removing lions from being classed as endangered species.
Around the world canned hunting has been widely condemned.
It’s a practice seemingly for lazy hunters who find the chase of wild animals simply too difficult. In a hunting system now practiced around the world trophy animals, lions, bears even elephants are bred in captivity, often in cages until old enough to look like an adult (clearly it’s no good having the head of a lion cub nailed on your wall).
As a game these animals are released scared, confused and vulnerable to be hunted down and shot for sport. It’s proven to be financially lucrative as hunters fork out as much as $15,000 per kill to the owners of large private game reserves.
In 2007 the South African government passed legislation regulating the practice, including forcing game park managers to release the animals into the wild for two years before they are considered fair game for hunters.
These majestic animals were additionally given some protection as limits were placed on the number of animals destined for slaughter.
Yet in a blow to Animal Rights Groups who are calling for a complete moratorium on the practice, this month the South African Supreme court has ruled in favor of an appeal launched by the South African Predator Breeder’s Association that overturns the legislation prohibiting lions to be released before they have spent 24 months in the wild.
The campaign it seems will not go away as the resolve of Animal Rights Activists appears to be hardening.
“The ruling is a sad day for lions but hopefully the court of public
opinion will now come to bear on the canned hunting industry, shaming it
for what it is – an immoral and indefensible business without a shred
of credibility,” said Jason Bell-Leask, International Fund for Animal Welfare.
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For other major stories:
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