Sourced from third-party site: Traveller24, written by Simon Bloch
The world’s largest hunting club, Safari Club International (SCI) has slammed the door shut on South Africa’s canned lion industry, announcing it will no longer allow captive-bred lion operators to advertise or market captive-bred lions (CBL) at its annual convention, and will reject all captive-bred lion entries for its record books.
According to the SCI website, the SCI board’s latest decision came into effect on Sunday, a day after its 46th annual convention wraps up in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“This outcome should have an immediate effect on government policy going forward,” a local professional hunter told the author.
He said sources at the SCI convention reported seeing a special representative dispatched by Minister for Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa, assessing the situation there.
According to global opinion, the canned hunting and captive-bred lion industries have caused severe reputation damage to the image of South Africa and Brand SA.
Three weeks ago, the Dallas Safari Club joined a host of America’s most reputable hunting institutions that have rejected the Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa’s (PHASA) recent reversal of its policy around captive bred lion hunts.
Speaking to the media, Stan Burger, the former president of Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA), says, “I can’t tell you how happy I am. This is like a crowning achievement for me, and the culmination of two years of hard work. I have been through two years of suffering and anguish because of certain people in the hunting industry. But now this is proof I am finally vindicated,” he said.
Last year, Burger was ousted as the PHASA’s president for trying to enforce its anti-CBL hunting policy and purge the association of CBL operators. He was made to sign certain non-disclosure agreements, and later quit the association in disgust.
Johannesburg director for CACH (Campaign Against Canned Hunting), Linda Park, said, “I was over the moon when I read the SCI statement. The leadership at SCI have listened to the voices of reason and acted, and for that, they should be congratulated. We were all anticipating an announcement from SCI, but what they were going to say, nobody really knew.
“SCI’s position at this crucial time in our campaign is most welcome, and adds to our firm belief that the end of this wretched and deplorable practice is in sight.
“Our own government should listen and follow these examples, and close down these pitiful lion breeding operations, as well as the ruthless killers who market and conduct these disgusting hunts.
“That will be the ultimate vindication for all those who have been fighting to close this shameful industry down. To paraphrase Neil Armstrong: ‘one small step for man, one giant leap for lions’,” she said.
In its statement, SCI says: “In considering that the practice of the captive breeding of lions for the purpose of hunting has doubtful value to the conservation of lions in the wild, and considering that such hunting is not consistent with SCI’s criteria for estate hunting, the SCI Board has adopted the following policy:
• SCI opposes the hunting of African lions bred in captivity.
• This policy takes effect on February 4, 2018 and applies to hunts taking place after adoption of this policy and to any Record Book entry related to such hunts.
• SCI will not accept advertising from any operator for any such hunts, nor will SCI allow operators to sell hunts for lions bred in captivity at the SCI Annual Hunters’ Convention.”
Stewart Dorrington, president of the newly-formed Custodians of Professional Hunting and Conservation South Africa (CPHCSA) says, “We commend SCI for their bold statement on captive bred lions and trust that other respected hunting associations will take note and follow suit.”