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The end of canned lion hunting looks imminent

Breaking news has also come out of the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA) AGM. A motion has been passed that disassociates PHASA with the captive-bred lion industry until such a time that the industry can convince PHASA and the IUCN that the practice is beneficial to lion conservation. This came after canned lion breeders and supporters were apparently outvoted 147 to 103. 

lion

© Janine Avery

A post on the Facebook page, The ‘Con’ in Conservation states: “This won’t ever happen, so its over for them. Thanks to Ian Michler and his Blood Lions documentary, which made such a big difference.”

Blood Lions also stated on their Facebook page that the recent screening of their documentary on the lion breeding industry to European Parliament members, “may well turn out to be the most significant one to date.”

Following the screening, the UK government has decided to meet next week for a full debate on the conservation status of lions, including the role played by all forms of trophy hunting. There was a commitment from the MEPs to ensure that Blood Lions would eventually be seen by the politicians of every state in the EU.

Matthias Kruse, the editor of Jäger, the leading German hunting magazine, made the trip to Brussels especially to see Blood Lions. He announced after the screening that, as of next year, Germany’s leading hunting show that is held in Dortmund will no longer allow the advertising or selling of any form of canned or captive hunts. The show will also no longer allow the sales and marketing of any species bred as unnatural colour variations, such as golden wildebeest.

Blood Lions has also been invited to screen the film for Italian and Spanish parliaments next year.

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  • Love To Travel

    Very good news…..

  • OLD SCHOOL

    Trophies are awarded for achievement. Hunting a canned lion is no achievement.

    • Rudi Strubbe

      So what exactly do you achieve that would merit any animal to be killed by sophisticated weaponry only to end up on your wall or as a rug on the floor? A psychopathic high? Beats me why an animal has to die to please the hunter at the end of an uneven game, of which the victim doesn’t even realise, let alone consent to being part of it. A photographer will do the same patient stalking and – if lucky – walk away from the living, beautiful animal with a great shot.
      Just to be clear, it is good that a step is taken to stop canned “hunting” as that is simply even greater injustice. But it doesn’t make trophy hunting respectable.

      • OLD SCHOOL

        As far as I am concerned I am against trophy hunting. Many nature reserves in Southern Africa are too small and do not have natural predators to control the number of species. The control of the numbers of large herbivores e.g. impala, zebra, kudu, eland becomes necessary. If this is not done these animals die of starvation. I personally witnessed it and it a reality and not a movie. Unfortunately it is not financialy viable to relocate the animals and a certain number are culled. The manager is a highly qualified person with a masters degree in the management of reserves. Natures biggest enemy is the loss of natural habit due to human population growth.Non-africans must realise that Africa is not one huge nature reserve . How many of the original wild animal species are left in Europe and North America?

        .

        • Rudi Strubbe

          That makes us pretty well aligned. You are right, we messed up big time in Europe, but even up here things are changing. Nature is claiming its place again and – slowly – man adapts. Rewilding Europe is not a mere slogan, it is a plan.

          As for the small reserves, I agree that pragmatism is due. But there, hunting serves a purpose. It is a bad solution to a worse problem, so we’ll have to do with it for now. I know very well the situation in Africa, having seen a.o. the situation in places like Uganda, Zambia, Malawi Kenya and Rwanda.The wild is shrinking at an alarming rate. All the more reason to try and curb the seemingly uncontrollable growth of the human population across the globe.

      • Willem Frost

        Rudi,
        See my response to Eden Mainwaring’s post above to see what we achieve through hunting.

        • Rudi Strubbe

          William, I read the usual claims of hunters being fine conservationists, as usual as something self-evident, without evidence. I have been involved in “real” conservation for a very long time and have found local hunters, even when working with the best intentions, end up “farming” wildlife rather than conserving a piece of nature. As in my earlier reply to “Old School”, I’m willing to concede that, given the current setting and with too many people willing to spend on shedding blood, loudly claiming that they are not interested in the bloodshed as such, trophy hunting is an economic necessity, a bit like tobacco, I guess.
          I see you writing that we fail to show you the moral grounds on which we condemn trophy hunting. If you fail to see the moral dilemma in killing a sentient animal, able to feel pain, grief and fear for the fun of it (no hunter has yet been able to explain what it is they are after if not the “fun”, the “kick” of killing), then teaching you just that is going to be an uphill battle, I agree.

          • Willem Frost

            Rudi, I just find it strange that anti-hunters stubbornly refuse to accept that there are significant conservation benefits to be derived from hunting – despite overwhelming evidence.
            The objection on “moral” grounds is rather unconvincing. Morality is usually driven by religion and/or culture and manifests itself in a value system. Therefor, although the peoples on this planet do share some values, other values are confined to specific cultures or religions. Take for instance the differences in the value systems of ISIS and the Christians of the West. The “moral” objection to hunting is largely a thing from the big cities of the West. In Africa, however, the people are shaking their heads in disbelief at the American mass hysteria about the shooting of a lion or an elephant. In other parts of the world (e.g Asia, Middle East, South America) people couldn’t care less about your moral objection to hunting.
            You see, hunting is a far more complex issue than an arrogant minority group’s views on “morality”.
            I am a Boer and my people have hunted for as long as we can remember; it is part of our cultural heritage. We also object: we object to people from big cities in other countries trying to destroy our cultural heritage.
            I think the hunting debate is unfortunately going in the wrong direction. Their is no point in debating the morality, or otherwise, of hunting. For the debate to be constructive we should rather discuss how we can ensure that the maximum conservation benefits are derived from hunting. The World Conservation Union took a constructive step when their Species Survival Commission published a set of hunting guidelines for those countries that do offer hunting. I have yet to find one anti-hunter who is willing to talk about about these guidelines or even to admit that they exist.
            Yelling, screaming and swearing at hunters as “blood thirsty murderers” (or issuing death or rape threats) is not helping the debate in any way; it just serves to harden attitudes.

          • Rudi Strubbe

            William, a discussion on what is moral and what isn’t is unlikely to end somewhere useful, I agree. More so as I never get any answers.
            You might be mistaking though, seeing the anti-hunters as a minority from the big cities. I happen to know quite a lot of Africans who are not at all into the hunting thing.
            Not even a decade ago, having lions, tigers and elephants in circuses around the globe was perfectly normal and accepted. See where we are today! I’m proud to say that Belgium was amongst the first to prohibit the practice and it is in the process of being abolished world-wide.
            In terms of the philosophical background to the movement that – amongst others – is anti-hunting, it is sufficient to look at the universal declaration on human rights (which in itself is being put in question by those not willing to recognise such universal rights, not the nicest of companies …) and observe that there is no condition to being a beneficiary. Your grant of universal rights is irrespective of ones intellectual capabilities or the lack thereof. Looking into the matter a bit deeper, you will see that in essence, the rights granted protect, against what the beneficiaries will experience as harmful: loss of life, physical integrity, security, … And while some of us keep on hunting, others have discovered that the animals being hunted experience similar feelings as we do: fear, pain, grief, … So again, my question: how can we justify that suffering for the mere pleasure of the hunter?
            What I’m trying to say is, that morals change and that majorities swing, usually towards the more civilised position. This is why we stopped slavery, why we abolished the death penalty, why we try to soften the change needed by “humanising” the slaughter of animals in a horrifying meat industry.
            If it requires for a “cultural heritage” to be respected, that people or animals are butchered or abused,I will be totally disrespectful. I will fight bullfighting, dogfights, animal acts in circuses, … and trophy hunting.
            Now, on the benefits, I will grant you that in this imperfect setting where we all know the price of something, but rarely the value, having land occupied by hunting farms is better than having it occupied by intensive agriculture or industry.
            But the position that trophy hunting would per se be contributing to conservation is a blatant lie. It is a fantasy to believe that all trophy hunters only kill old male lions that no longer procreate. Quite often they shoot the dominant male(s), creating havoc in a pride being usurped by a new dominant male, killing the old male’s precious offspring. Lions belong on the endangered list, for a number of reasons, but hunting those big males doesn’t help. Same goes for hunting leopards, where scientific evidence gathered in South Africa now suggests that numbers are systematically exaggerated, leading to distortion of hunting territories as top predators are totally eradicated rather than “controlled”. And what to think of those kudu and sable bred on hunting farms to a point where they carry a “rack” that is so large and heavy that the animal wouldn’t stand a chance in the wild ? Conservation? Hunting may contribute to conservation as a side effect, like in the days of Ian Palmer. But “wildlife management” through the barrel of a gun is a mirage. An excuse to keep on doing what hunters like to do.
            I have to admit, it is the fist time I hear of these rules you refer to. I will happily look them up and read them. I’m not expecting much new, but who knows, I might be surprised.
            Do note that I have not called hunters murderers or whatsoever, nor have I threatened any hunter in any possible way (how could I, the other side is having the gun …). Please note that my notion of the wild is not a Disney-plot, just that we understand each other. Cheers!

          • Willem Frost

            Rudi,
            I noticed that you are not using foul language or insults, and I appreciate it. At least we can have a civilised discussion on things that we disagree on. In my experience this is NOT the norm when dealing with anti-hunters. Any attempt at an intellectual debate usually degenerates very quickly into a string of curses, foul language and insults. I have also had my share of death threats. This is not exactly the behaviour one expect from people who are supposedly civilised and who claim to walk the moral high ground. You clearly do not fall into this category.
            To get back to the “moral” objection to hunting. One of the other major problems with such an approach is that ‘morality’ can be very selective and subjective. I have come across many anti-hunters who are supportive of abortion, but when I shoot an impala then I am regarded as a criminal. So, it is OK to kill unborn, but living, humans but not so for animals. This selective morality that I cannot come to grips with. I do not know what the position is in Belgium, but I do know that prostitution and the use of certain drugs is legal in Holland. Yet, if a hunter travels through Schiphol with hunting equipment he is at risk of being arrested as has happened to clients of mine. Have the Dutch gone crazy? I think what we are witnessing is the collapse of our Western Christian civilisation (all civilisations eventually collapse in any event). Our moral compass does not seem to work any longer and we have become morally lost in our concrete jungles because too many westerners have lost touch with the natural world.

          • Rudi Strubbe

            William, let me start where you finish, I meant Ian Player. Sure you will recognise that name. Sorry for the confusion.
            Regarding the moral discussion, Belgium happens to have legislation that allows for medics to practice abortion up to a certain point of pregnancy. The debate on abortion is often simplified by “pro” abortion or contra. I would tend to support the position that up to a certain point, a woman has the right to decide on what goes on in her own body and may opt for what remains a bad solution, i.e. abortion. Contraceptives are the better solution, but as long as there will be desperate women looking for an abortion, I’d rather have legislation that facilitates that to happen in a controlled manner, by a medic, rather than in some backstreet alley.
            Belgium also has one of the most liberal legislations on euthanasia. I’m all for it, especially the way it is conceived in Belgium. The one key element is to ensure that to die is the patient’s express desire.And while the precautions built around that make the law ineffective in some difficult cases(minors, dementing people, …) it is a relief to quite some people to go as they choose.
            All of this to state where I am on some of the topics that touch upon life and death. If you want to call this selective morality, be my guest. My choices regarding life and death reflect respect for life and for the autonomy of the living creature. And how selective are the morals of one whom is clearly very protective of the unborn life, but has no issues with killing the living creature beyond birth?
            Note that I will not deny those that hunt because they need the food their right to hunt. You are right, the hunted animal is better off than the poor creature led to the abattoir. That is if it is hunted by someone who knows what he is doing and not trying to play Rambo with a bow or something like that.
            Living in Western Europe, I have a choice to be vegetarian and be both consequent with my beliefs and healthier than I would be eating meat, but I will acknowledge that not all people have that option (SA has a very good vegetarian offer to those that can go shopping:-))

            I won’t comment on the mental state of the Dutch. As a Belgian I’m prejudiced :-)

            As for the conservation benefits of trophy hunting, we obviously read different stuff. Looking at lions, I read that between 2004 and 2014, 3308 lion trophies were imported into the EU. Even if we estimate that a killed lion counts for 2trophies on average (head against the wall and skin on the floor), that still means EU-hunters killed between 1600 and 1700 lions in that time-frame. that amounts to about 8% of the current wild population! And that is only the figures for the EU. Where would we end up counting the US and Australia? So please spare me the lecture on taking out only the “too old” males. There simply cannot be that many around. And taking out a strong, dominant male is not just a question of bad timing. It boils down to having its offspring mauled by whomever takes over, so not one lion, but more likely three, four, five … lions less.

            Now, obviously, a large part of those trophies come from canned hunting and we are all against that, aren’t we? So if we lock down canned hunting but we let trophy hunting as is, where does that leave lions? I tell you where, on the “extinct.” list within the next two decades. To start with: http://www.lionaid.org/news/2010/11/the-effects-of-lion-trophy-hunting-on-lion-populations.htm

            You don’t share my view on leopards, believing that there are more than is estimated. Let’s wait a while. There is a British PhD student that has been working on the subject in SA, monitoring leopard moves by tracking, trailcams, etc. and her conclusions might come as a shock.

            On the breeding industry, let us be clear. There would not be a breeding industry without a market. So where do all these magnificent horns end up? Not at the photographer’s house. Not with the anti-hunters, not with the eco-tourists, … not even with the poachers. Whom did I miss? Yeah, sure, breeders sell to one another, but only as a means to a purpose.Some may actually like kudu with their snouts in the ground because they cannot lift their heads properly,but it is on someone’s wall that these will be presented.

            As for the difference between humans and animals and the evidence that animals share the same feelings we have, it is out there. You can read it if you are willing to do so. Here, try this for a start:
            http://www.livescience.com/49093-animals-have-feelings.html
            http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/07/150714-animal-dog-thinking-feelings-brain-science/
            https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201208/scientists-conclude-nonhuman-animals-are-conscious-beings

            Enjoy the reading.

          • Willem Frost

            Rudi, you make some valid points, but others I cannot
            agree with. For example, your suggestion that trophy hunting will cause the
            extinction of lions is simply not true and there is no basis for such an
            accusation. It is a misconception that all of Africa’s lion populations are
            endangered. The IUCN has found that wild lions in South Africa, Namibia and
            Zimbabwe have increased by 11% during the period 1993 to 2014. South Africa is
            the only country to show an increase in ALL lion populations. I will comment
            further on this down below.

            Please note also that lion hunting is a very small part
            of trophy hunting. Antelope species, in particular, have benefitted enormously
            from sustainable hunting in especially Namibia and South Africa.

            I don’t have a problem with euthanasia either, provided
            there are adequate controls. And I do appreciate your respect for all life –
            absolutely nothing wrong with that. But you are not entitled to deny me my
            right to hunt.

            I find your comment that “…….if it is
            hunted by someone who knows what he is doing and not trying to play Rambo with
            a bow or something like that” interesting. I have been hunting for many years
            with people from around the globe and I have yet to find a hunter trying to play
            Rambo. And if I do, that will be the end of that hunt. I think this is just
            another example of anti-hunters always trying to portray the hunter in the
            worst possible light, irrespective of reality.

            On the question of morality, just one or two final comments:

            (i)
            How can it be morally justified to place the
            welfare of a single animal above that of an eco-system or a species?

            (ii)
            How can it be morally justified to deny rural
            Africans income from legal, selective and controlled hunting, in exchange for
            large scale indiscriminate killing by poachers?

            (iii)
            How can it be morally justified that foreigners
            from big cities in Europe and North America can dictate to rural Africans, who
            have to live with wild animals, how to manage their one unique natural
            resource?

            It is simply
            not realistic to expect the people of Africa to become vegetarians. Africans
            will laugh at this idea. This is why the bushmeat trade is such a major
            contributor to the decline in Africa’s wildlife populations. In any event, if
            we all have to refrain from eating meat, how much more habitat will we have to
            destroy in order to grow potatoes and tomatoes for the ever increasing hungry
            masses? Professor Tim Noakes will also tell you that you should eat meat if you
            want to eat healthy. Man was created an omnivore who needs protein in the form
            of fish and meat – that’s natural. The thing with game meat though is that it
            has no fat, no cholesterol or anti-biotics or growth hormones that you so often
            find in domesticated animals that are fattened in feed-lots. I am in the
            fortunate position that I can eat only venison, and when my freezer is empty, I
            shoot another one. It is also bad propaganda that the meat from trophy animals
            is not consumed. Other than a very few species, everything is consumed. I have
            even seen local tribesmen eat a hyena, but this is not common. He consumption
            of venison will have to play a much bigger role in future – New Zealand has set
            an excellent example with their deer industry.

            The main criticism against the wildlife breeding industry is that there is
            no consumer market for the product. Breeders are selling to one another and to
            new entrants in the breeding “market”. Some heavy weight commentators have
            referred to this breeding industry as a “Ponzi scheme” or a “Pyramid scheme” as
            there is no sustainable market (not sutre if you are familiar with Ponzi and
            pyramid schemes). All hunting organisations that I know of, have all taken a
            strong position AGAINST intensive breeding in small camps for specific
            morphological characteristics. I am perplexed that you keep on blaming the
            hunting industry for intensive breeding. We all expect that the breeding market
            will implode (especially with regard to colour variants) and prices are already
            coming down. Let’s watch the space next year. I obviously don’t know your
            sources of information, but who ever told you about those kudu and sable with
            racks so large that they can’t lift their heads, does not know what he is
            talking about. This is pure nonsense; probably just cheap anti-hunting
            propaganda. I would love to see pictures of these monster animals.

            I have read the articles that you referred me to and remain to be
            convinced that animals are the same as humans at an emotional or intelligence
            level.

            The article by Jonathan Balcombe does not provide proof
            that animals and humans share the same emotions. As he says, his special
            interest is “….animal happiness”. That says a lot. In any event he works for
            the Humane Society which leaves him with no credibility. It is true that
            animals can suffer; that animals can have distinct personalities; that animals
            also know to adapt to environmental changes in order to survive (that’s part of
            evolution and natural survival); that domesticated animals become accustomed to
            human interaction; that animals can play; that they know to get away from
            danger; can get enraged, etc. Animals are also very alert (more so than humans)
            and they know what is going on around them. None of this is proof, however,
            that they are the same as humans at an emotional level. He admits himself that
            we cannot know for certain what animals are feeling. I content that if animals
            experience emotions like humans, it is at such a basic, raw level that it
            cannot be compared to humans.

            Having said that, the hunters that I know, all treat
            individual animals, species and eco-systems with great respect. That inter alia
            makes us human. That does not mean, however, that it is wrong to hunt or to
            consume meat or fish.

            Carl Safina makes some valid points in his book about
            “What animals Think and Feel”, but comes short of providing convincing evidence
            that humans and animals are so similar that it would be immoral to hunt. He
            also, correctly, points out that there is a lot of confusion around
            terminology. I think we should all accept that vertebrates, including humans,
            have a lot in common. For example, we all have to breathe and eat and we all
            have to leave a dump somewhere, but does that mean that we are the same at an
            emotional or physical or psychological level? I don’t think so. In any event,
            if it is OK for animals to eat other animals, why would it be wrong for humans
            to also eat animals? Especially if we are supposedly all the same.

            I agree with Mark Bekoff that animals are conscious
            beings (although we all probably don’t share the same meaning of the word
            consciousness). How else would they have evolved over time as opposed to dying
            out? Main question with regards to this debate is: So what?

            The Lionaid article is clearly biased and not necessarily
            objective. The writer lists most of the benefits of trophy hunting, but then
            goes on to sow the seeds of suspicion that this is all a bunch of lies. His
            suggested changes to hunting practices are nonsense as it is a simplified broad
            sweep for all of Africa. Fact is land ownership, wildlife populations, and the
            sharing of hunting income differs from country to country. For instance, it is
            clear that he does not know anything about how hunting income is shared in some
            countries. But I agree that a number of countries will have to get their act
            together in this regard. His suggestion for more government intervention is
            also nonsense. In Africa you want less government intervention (especially in
            an already heavily regulated industry such as hunting) and more
            self-regulation.

            This article goes on to blame the hunting industry for
            the decline in lion numbers. This is pure nonsense/ rubbish. The IUCN (the
            world’s leading conservation authority) has found that lion hunting does NOT
            pose a threat to the species. The decline in numbers is due to a number of
            other well documented reasons, most notably poaching and loss of prey base.
            Please also note that a recently released research report found that lion
            numbers in Namibia, Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe are on the increase
            again with South Africa the only country that shows an increase in ALL lion
            populations. In West Africa lions are endangered except perhaps one or two
            sub-populations and in East Africa numbers are declining fast. So, we cannot
            apply one conservation strategy across the continent – we have to consider lion
            populations individually. Africa’s current total lion population is estimated at
            32 000 – 38 000. Unfortunately no data is available countries such as
            Angola and Somalia, but these are not known lion strongholds. Please also be advised
            that hunters do NOT wish to hunt any species if cannot be done sustainably. Any
            suggestion to the contrary is blatantly untrue and has to be dismissed as
            anti-hunting propaganda. I am also not impressed by writer’s attack on the IUCN
            – he just destroys his own credibility.

            Finally, I would like to share a story with you. Not long after the “Cecil the lion “incident earlier
            in the year, we went up to the Matetsi area of Zimbabwe, just north of Hwange
            National Park and near where Cecil was shot. What we found was shocking.
            Following on the hysteria in especially the
            social media about ‘Cecil the lion’, a number of Zimbabwean hunts have
            apparently been cancelled by international hunters. This understandable; no one
            wants to risk the type of harassment, including death
            threats, that was handed out to Dr. Palmer by the anti-hunting lunatics. This
            meant a loss of income for quite a number of villagers who rely on legal trophy
            hunting as their main source of income. When the hunters did not turn up, the
            income of these communities dwindled. They then did the expected: turned to
            poaching! In one incident 22 elephant were poisoned in Hwange National Park.
            The poachers poisoned a waterhole and when the elephants died, the tusks were
            hacked out and the carcasses were left to rot. The hyaenas, jackals and
            vultures that came in to feed on the carcasses also died. An unknown, but
            certainly large number, of other animals that drank from the poisoned waterhole
            must also have died.

            This was not an isolated incident. There were
            further subsequent reports of poaching and I have read of at least 67 elephants
            that have died from poison so far. The correct figure is probably far more by
            now. Poaching is rife and there are snares everywhere in the bush. Poison has
            become a popular method for poaching elephant and rhino. One can only conclude that
            without some serious intervention, the country may well end up without any
            wildlife in the not too distant future.

            This is a good example of how the anti-hunting
            community, through their arrogant ignorance, is contributing towards the demise
            of Africa’s wildlife. Not surprising, there was no outburst in the social over
            the increase in poaching due to legal hunting revenues drying up. It is a
            disgrace to say the least.

            O yes, we will never forget Ian Player – a true
            gentlemen of great wisdom.

          • Willem Frost

            Rudi, you make some valid points, but others I cannot
            agree with. For example, your suggestion that trophy hunting will cause the extinction of lions is simply not true and there is no basis for such an accusation. It is a misconception that all of Africa’s lion populations are endangered. The IUCN has found that wild lions in South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe have increased by 11% during the period 1993 to 2014. South Africa is the only country to show an increase in ALL lion populations. I will comment further on this down below.

            Please note also that lion hunting is a very small part of trophy hunting. Antelope species, in particular, have benefitted enormously
            from sustainable hunting in especially Namibia and South Africa.

            I don’t have a problem with euthanasia either, provided there are adequate controls. And I do appreciate your respect for all life –
            absolutely nothing wrong with that. But you are not entitled to deny me my right to hunt.

            I find your comment that “…….if it is hunted by someone who knows what he is doing and not trying to play Rambo with a bow or something like that” interesting. I have been hunting for many years
            with people from around the globe and I have yet to find a hunter trying to play Rambo. And if I do, that will be the end of that hunt. I think this is just another example of anti-hunters always trying to portray the hunter in the worst possible light, irrespective of reality.

            On the question of morality, just one or two final comments:

            (i) How can it be morally justified to place the welfare of a single animal above that of an eco-system or a species?

            (ii) How can it be morally justified to deny rural Africans income from legal, selective and controlled hunting, in exchange for large scale indiscriminate killing by poachers?

            (iii) How can it be morally justified that foreigners from big cities in Europe and North America can dictate to rural Africans, who
            have to live with wild animals, how to manage their one unique natural resource?

            It is simply not realistic to expect the people of Africa to become vegetarians. Africans will laugh at this idea. This is why the bushmeat trade is such a major contributor to the decline in Africa’s wildlife populations. In any event, if we all have to refrain from eating meat, how much more habitat will we have to
            destroy in order to grow potatoes and tomatoes for the ever increasing hungry masses? Professor Tim Noakes will also tell you that you should eat meat if you want to eat healthy. Man was created an omnivore who needs protein in the form of fish and meat – that’s natural. The thing with game meat though is that it has no fat, no cholesterol or anti-biotics or growth hormones that you so often find in domesticated animals that are fattened in feed-lots. I am in the fortunate position that I can eat only venison, and when my freezer is empty, I shoot another one. It is also bad propaganda that the meat from trophy animals is not consumed. Other than a very few species, everything is consumed. I have even seen local tribesmen eat a hyena, but this is not common. He consumption
            of venison will have to play a much bigger role in future – New Zealand has set an excellent example with their deer industry.

            The main criticism against the wildlife breeding industry is that there is no consumer market for the product. Breeders are selling to one another and to new entrants in the breeding “market”. Some heavy weight commentators have referred to this breeding industry as a “Ponzi scheme” or a “Pyramid scheme” as there is no sustainable market (not sure if you are familiar with Ponzi and pyramid schemes). All hunting organisations that I know of, have all taken a
            strong position AGAINST intensive breeding in small camps for specific morphological characteristics. I am perplexed that you keep on blaming the hunting industry for intensive breeding. We all expect that the breeding market will implode (especially with regard to colour variants) and prices are already coming down. Let’s watch the space next year. I obviously don’t know your sources of information, but who ever told you about those kudu and sable with
            racks so large that they can’t lift their heads, does not know what he is talking about. This is pure nonsense; probably just cheap anti-hunting propaganda. I would love to see pictures of these monster animals.

            I have read the articles that you referred me to and remain to be
            convinced that animals are the same as humans at an emotional or intelligence
            level.

            The article by Jonathan Balcombe does not provide proof
            that animals and humans share the same emotions. As he says, his special interest is “….animal happiness”. That says a lot. In any event he works for the Humane Society which leaves him with no credibility. It is true that animals can suffer; that animals can have distinct personalities; that animals also know to adapt to environmental changes in order to survive (that’s part of
            evolution and natural survival); that domesticated animals become accustomed to human interaction; that animals can play; that they know to get away from danger; can get enraged, etc. Animals are also very alert (more so than humans) and they know what is going on around them. None of this is proof, however, that they are the same as humans at an emotional level. He admits himself that
            we cannot know for certain what animals are feeling. I content that if animals experience emotions like humans, it is at such a basic, raw level that it cannot be compared to humans.

            Having said that, the hunters that I know, all treat individual animals, species and eco-systems with great respect. That inter alia makes us human. That does not mean, however, that it is wrong to hunt or to consume meat or fish.

            Carl Safina makes some valid points in his book about
            “What animals Think and Feel”, but comes short of providing convincing evidence that humans and animals are so similar that it would be immoral to hunt. He also, correctly, points out that there is a lot of confusion around terminology. I think we should all accept that vertebrates, including humans, have a lot in common. For example, we all have to breathe and eat and we all have to leave a dump somewhere, but does that mean that we are the same at an
            emotional or physical or psychological level? I don’t think so. In any event, if it is OK for animals to eat other animals, why would it be wrong for humans to also eat animals? Especially if we are supposedly all the same.

            I agree with Mark Bekoff that animals are conscious beings (although we all probably don’t share the same meaning of the word consciousness). How else would they have evolved over time as opposed to dying out? Main question with regards to this debate is: So what?

            The Lionaid article is clearly biased and not necessarily
            objective. The writer lists most of the benefits of trophy hunting, but then goes on to sow the seeds of suspicion that this is all a bunch of lies. His suggested changes to hunting practices are nonsense as it is a simplified broad sweep for all of Africa. Fact is land ownership, wildlife populations, and the sharing of hunting income differs from country to country. For instance, it is clear that he does not know anything about how hunting income is shared in some
            countries. But I agree that a number of countries will have to get their act together in this regard. His suggestion for more government intervention is also nonsense. In Africa you want less government intervention (especially in an already heavily regulated industry such as hunting) and more self-regulation.

            This article goes on to blame the hunting industry for the decline in lion numbers. This is pure nonsense/ rubbish. The IUCN (the
            world’s leading conservation authority) has found that lion hunting does NOT pose a threat to the species. The decline in numbers is due to a number of other well documented reasons, most notably poaching and loss of prey base. Please also note that a recently released research report found that lion numbers in Namibia, Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe are on the increase
            again with South Africa the only country that shows an increase in ALL lion populations. In West Africa lions are endangered except perhaps one or two sub-populations and in East Africa numbers are declining fast. So, we cannot apply one conservation strategy across the continent – we have to consider lion populations individually. Africa’s current total lion population is estimated at
            32 000 – 38 000. Unfortunately no data is available countries such as Angola and Somalia, but these are not known lion strongholds. Please also be advised that hunters do NOT wish to hunt any species if cannot be done sustainably. Any suggestion to the contrary is blatantly untrue and has to be dismissed as
            anti-hunting propaganda. I am also not impressed by writer’s attack on the IUCN – he just destroys his own credibility.

            Finally, I would like to share a story with you. Not long after the “Cecil the lion “incident earlier in the year, we went up to the Matetsi area of Zimbabwe, just north of Hwange National Park and near where Cecil was shot. What we found was shocking. Following on the hysteria in especially the social media about ‘Cecil the lion’, a number of Zimbabwean hunts have apparently been cancelled by international hunters. This understandable; no one wants to risk the type of harassment, including death threats, that was handed out to Dr. Palmer by the anti-hunting lunatics. This meant a loss of income for quite a number of villagers who rely on legal trophy hunting as their main source of income. When the hunters did not turn up, the
            income of these communities dwindled. They then did the expected: turned to poaching! In one incident 22 elephant were poisoned in Hwange National Park. The poachers poisoned a waterhole and when the elephants died, the tusks were hacked out and the carcasses were left to rot. The hyaenas, jackals and vultures that came in to feed on the carcasses also died. An unknown, but certainly large number, of other animals that drank from the poisoned waterhole must also have died.

            This was not an isolated incident. There were further subsequent reports of poaching and I have read of at least 67 elephants
            that have died from poison so far. The correct figure is probably far more by now. Poaching is rife and there are snares everywhere in the bush. Poison has become a popular method for poaching elephant and rhino. One can only conclude that without some serious intervention, the country may well end up without any
            wildlife in the not too distant future.

            This is a good example of how the anti-hunting community, through their arrogant ignorance, is contributing towards the demise of Africa’s wildlife. Not surprising, there was no outburst in the social over the increase in poaching due to legal hunting revenues drying up. It is a disgrace to say the least.

            O yes, we will never forget Ian Player – a true gentlemen of great wisdom.

    • Frances Carodine

      i don’t believe in either trophies for sports not killing

  • ibagoalie

    I have the movie recorded on DVR, but havent found the courage yet to view it. I know i will be an emotional mess (i cried during Born Free). I think that any ‘hunter’ that ‘hunts’ on these types of game farms are sorry excuses for humans.

  • Mino

    Does this actually mean that PHASA members are not allowed to offer clients this sort of hunt if they wish to remain a member of the organization? Or was this a show vote?

  • Laura Stuart Klimist

    It’s about damn time.

  • Artemis Athena

    finally good news for the king of the jungle

  • https://www.rebelmouse.com/ActionForNoseyNow/ Sharon Wardle

    Great News! A step in the right direction

  • Margaret Woodall

    When it happens, I will believe it, until then if they hunt they are not to be trusted at all. It is not only canned hunting, although that is the worst kind of killing ever and is not hunting but murder, that needs to be stopped these people like another so called vet who is bragging on facebook that he only kills for fun, not much fun for us to read about it and certainly no fun for the poor animal he kills, he needs to be struck off and never be allowed to make money out of animals again.

  • michael chait

    YAY!!

  • Debbie in Orlando

    Im not so sure this is wonderful news. This is a very complicated issue. Although I deplore canned hunting, the truth is this decision won’t stop the killing of lions. These self-absorbed
    wealthy men will not stop taking big cats, they will simply take wild ones now. In the wild, when you take one male lion, it often means death for cubs as well. Not to mention the biggest strongest males are being removed from the gene pool. Is it better to tale one tame lion or disrupt the balance of nature in the wild? I have struggled with this and can not figure which is the lesser of two evils? The one thing I do know is you will NEVER stop American hunters. Its heartbreaking but true.

    • Rudi Strubbe

      Debby, I fully share your concern. There is only one way to go and that is to get all trophy hunting banned! Sooner or later, we will succeed. The more energy more people put behind that dream, the sooner it will happen.

    • Paul Oxley

      Agree… I assume you have seen the TedXCopenhagen vid?

  • Debbie in Orlando

    Typing error, sorry…It is… “Is it better to TAKE one tame lion”

  • Willem Frost

    Canned lion “hunting” has done a lot of damage to SA’s image and I don’t mind it being stopped, although such a step will not do anything for lion conservation. But it will make the sentimentalists feel good. There are a number of questions:
    1. What should happen to the existing captive lions? Put them down?
    2. What more can be done for lion conservation, especially in West Africa where Panthera leo is on the way to regional extinction? This is a more important/critical issue than stopping canned hunting.
    3. What is the real motive behind “Blood lions”? I suspect it is to stop ALL hunting which would be disastrous for Africa’s wildlife.
    It is interesting that the Dortmund show has apparently taken a position against colour variants. Have to support them on this.

    • Eden Mainwaring

      Can I ask how stopping hunting would be disastrous for wildlife?

      • Graeme Pollock

        In 1960 South Africa had approx 550 000 head of wildlife , today there is over 18 million , yes 18 million , mostly on private game ranches which now have more land under conservation (20 million hectares ) than National Parks ( 14 million ) – all on the back of hunting revenues. Many species faced extinction noteably Bontebok , Black Wildebeest , and White Rhino , so the SA conservation authorities took the bold step to get the private ranches involved and allowed them to stock their ranches with these endangered species with a quota to hunt – all these species recovered again on the back of hunting revenues – as against Tiger and Cape Mountain zebra which were not allowed to be hunted and have accelerated towards extinction – hunting pays for conservation and sets aside land for wildlife – it employs people who are rural with little skills and who would poach , it provides meat / protein to a protein starved continent , it pays for anti poaching but mostly sets aside land.

        • Eden Mainwaring

          Thank you Graeme, my question was genuine. And wow, I didn’t know those figures. However wouldn’t those figures more represent an increase in herbivore count as I was under the impression that carnivore count was down dramatically.
          I can see your argument and I have no issue with hunting for food . I however don’t get hunting for the joy of killing itself and trophy hunting to put heads of magnificent animals on walls, and photos of yourself triumphant standing over your kills. I know that these hunters bring in money, am still not convinced that money goes to the local communities but to those higher up the food chain, esp in countries other than South Africa. And yes, I am unlikely to sway these people at any time in the near future. Ultimately man is the source of all these issues, over population and poverty, greed and lack of empathy to name just a few of our vices. I don’t have the answers other than hopefully with the provision of education we can have intelligent decisions made to benefit both human and animals. For me it comes down to the fact that we already have too many humans inhabiting this planet , so my support is for animal life first. thanks again for your informative answer.

          • Willem Frost

            Eden, No predators do not determine the number of herbivores; it works the other way round. The number of predators is a function of the prey base.
            Your objection to trophy hunting is not clear. It is not against the law nor is it against the teachings of the Holy Bible or the Tora or the Koran. So, I do not understand where the authority for a moral objection to hunting originates from. Anti-hunters like to demonise hunters by portraying them as sadistic “murderers” with an insatiable bloodlust and who only takes pleasure in distinguishing innocent life. This is blatantly untrue. All hunting organisations have a code ethics within which hunting is undertaken. Many hunting outfitters have their own additional code of ethics. Trophy hunters typically take the old males that are no longer breeding. The offtake by trophy hunters are so few that it has no effect at species level. Wildlife is just another natural resource that is available for utilisation by man. Hunters understand that we have to utilise our natural resources in a sustainable and responsible manner, otherwise the resource will get depleted. It is therefor not surprising that the world’s leading conservation authorities are all in favour of ‘Conservation through Sustainable Utilisation’ and they have recognised the importance of hunting as a management tool for conservation. Unfortunately, anti-hunters do like to hear this as many of them are not interested in conservation – it is the “rights” of the individual animal that matters to them. Graeme Pollock has answered your question very well, but in summary I can add the following: 1. Private sector conservation, funded by hunting revenues, is proven to be more successful than public sector conservation (at least in Africa) 2.Hunting makes more land available for conservation 3. There are tracts of land that are not suitable for government owned national parks, and that can best be utilised as hunting concessions. 4. Hunting outfitters and professional hunters more often than not find themselves in the frontline trenches fighting poaching. Hunting is an important deterrent to poaching. 5. Hunters, not only through the dollars that they contribute but also as a result of their care for wildernesses and wildlife, make the world’s finest conservationists. 6. Many local communities in countries such as Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia share directly in the revenue generated by hunting. This is a significant deterrent to poaching. Situation differs from country to country however. Most of those countries that are not able to offer their local communities some hunting income, have already lost most of their wildlife. 7. It is a fallacy that photographic tourism is a financially superior form of land use compared to hunting. National parks allow only photographic tourism and none is financially viable (even the Kruger has to be subsidised by the taxpayer). Hunting tourism on the other hand pays its own way without any taxpayer support. So, if we want to see an Africa without any wildlife, let’s ban all hunting.

          • Eden Mainwaring

            I get the point re herbivore vs predator numbers. Yes an obvious correlation when you look at it. As to my objection to trophy hunting, I thought I had made it clear, on a personal level yes, without bringing in religion , politics or the law. I live in a farm, we do home kill, we shoot rabbits and foxes, but I take no joy from killing nor do I pose with photos nor hang their heads on my wall. The foxes eat our chooks and the rabbits deplete the grass etc. both are introduced species to Australia and considered vermin. When the hawk gets into my chook house and knocks of the chooks, I don’t kill it, I ramp up my protection methods vs shelter in the chook run etc.
            I think I would be naive to believe that all hunters have a code of ethics, but then I am very cynical about human beings in general. Lots of examples around the world of mans greed and if it’s money over environment, money wins every time. But that’s another topic.
            I do see your arguments and take the points on board, it’s never black and white and I think both sides have valid arguments but both sides have loonies as well which make finding common ground all the more difficult to find.
            Thank you for replying Willem

          • Willem Frost

            You make some valid points. The hunting industry does have its fair share of rogues, like any other industry. But they are not representative of the typical hunter just like drunken drivers are not representative of the typical motorist. In each and every sphere of life there are minorities that do not represent the norm.
            I also understand that hunting is not everyone’s cup of tea. But the thing is this: if I don’t like boxing or motor racing or violent movies, for example, do I have the right to object to others who do like it? I don’t think so. Similarly, those who not like hunting should not engage in it or watch hunting videos or photos. But as long as I don’t breach the law or cause harm to fellow man or the environment, the anti-hunter also does not have the right to prescribe to me what I should or shouldn’t like or do.
            Good to exchange views. Thanks.

          • Graeme Pollock

            Eden , compassion for wildlife and animals is a beautiful thing and without people like you watching out for them they would be in grave danger. Unfortunately we live in a world where realty dictates that there is not enough land for any creature that does not contribute to the sustainability of our planet and that includes wildlife that interacts with indigenous people who must share land with animals that eat their food and kill them , in africa to get local people to put up with wild animals they need to benefit from sharing the land with them. Hence the term best land use – so where wildlife is abundant you will normaly find National Parks but the buffer areas and more marginal lands either have agriculture or hunting because no photo tourist wants to visit areas with out a unique feature or lots of wildlife = but it does not mean these area are of no conservation value , this is where hunting becomes the best land use. If you banned hunting these people would have no way of benefiting from wildlife and would eradicate the wildlife for their agriculture or protection or poach them to survive , this is why hunting is important for conservation.

          • Paul Oxley

            Yeah, I get that, and you’re right. However, hunting humans, although it would be massively beneficial to the environment and to humanity in general, is unlikely to find much favour with the authorities or the Social Justice Warriors who rule our lives and the social media.

            I’m afraid that throwing out the captive-bred baby with the canned bathwater will lead to lion population decline and eventual loss of genetic diversity.

            I, similarly, can find no reason in my head or heart to ever contemplate hunting a lion, but would not deny others the opportunity to do so… much as I am confused by the concept of willingly eating raw fish when breadcrumbs and a deep-fryer is at hand, but as long as it is done humanely (hunting the lion, we’ve moved on from the fish analogy), I cannot fault it, specifically given the benefits that accrue insofar as species viability is concerned.

          • Eden Mainwaring

            LOL Paul, I do like the idea of human hunting! Perhaps you could persuade me to pick up that hobby 😃. We could use non redeemable inmates from prisons, help keep the costs down as an added bonus by emptying a few cells😈. Sorry, right off topic!

  • RastaSooz

    One great step for the animals, next step is to BAN ALL hunting.
    Anyone who get’s pleasure from seeing a LIFE be extinguished by their hands is nothing but an evil sociopath serial killer.

    • Paul Oxley

      I agree… let’s turn all that useless land into parking lots and mini-malls.

      Or, better yet, plough it and grow soya so the exploding human species can chow down on tofu until they are extinct.

      • RastaSooz

        We don’t have useless land…I’m not a mini-mall kinda of gal…however nothing wrong with planting food…

  • mike D

    This is huge news and is an obvious huge turning point in the battle against this atrocious practice which should not even be referred to as hunting. it is killing by cowards. the timing could not be better as it was aired while the worldwide story of Cecil was still fresh in everyone’s mind. at least now the world has been made more aware of this dispicable industry which is supported by ruthless lion farmers and even more ruthless cowards that call themselves hunters. I have not seen it yet but can’t wait. when will it air again in the US ?

  • Gail Potgieter

    Good to see PHASA taking a stand! And Germany doing their best – I hope the other hunting countries follow suit!

  • Lynn O

    Congratulations…Can/Trophy Hunting has caused a “Trail of Tears” in Africa. What happens to the Lions to feed Can/Trophy Hunting is a disgrace and an abuse to the Animal Kingdom. To take tiny Cubs away from a Mother Lioness is the start of something horrific. what happens to the Lions at the end of the Can/Trophy Hunting Saga is the worst kind of abuse ever. To breed stolen baby Cubs for a bullet or Arrow is shocking, nothing or any excuses can justify it… it’s a horror story. To see the head of a murdered Lion on a wall somewhere is nothing to be proud of or to see the lion’s coat on someone’s wall or floor is just as bad. Is this an emotional issue…you bet for every person who loves our Lions and wants to see them survive.

  • Eddy Bert

    those poor lions already have nowhere to go, soon they will not remain. I would have declared hunting for hunters, it would be much more interesting!

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