THE number of lions hunted in captivity may have dropped by about 70% in the past year but more than 6 000 are being bred in more than 200 breeding stations — just to be hunting trophies.

Wildlands Conservation Trust CEO Andrew Venter said about 1 000 lions were hunted last year.

Fewer than 10 were wild animals.

He was speaking at the 2016 International Union for Conservation of Nature Congress in Hawaii, where he drove a motion to end canned lion hunting in South Africa.

Venter said the multi-million rand industry had taken a hammering this year as a result of the Blood Lions campaign, started when a documentary exposed captive-bred lion hunting.

Venter said his motion “demonstrated global conservation support for the call to stop canned hunting and address the unethical commercialisation of lion”.

He said if the motion was adopted, South Africa could see a formal legislative definition of “canned hunting” that would prohibit hunting of lion and other wildlife under captive conditions.

Tharia Urwin of the Professional Hunters’ Association of SA, which is opposed to captivebred lion hunting, said the trophyhunting industry contributed about R1.8billion to GDP.

She said Venter’s motion could have a negative effect on species, communities and the economy.