Whilst a palace revolution is taking place in the industry and a huge split within the ranks of its membership, President of the Professional Hunting Association of South Africa [Phasa], Stan Burger announced his resignation and will be replaced by Dries Van Coller.

Retha Van Reenen, spokesperson for Phasa told the media “many members decided not to sign an affidavit sent out last year that they would not support or promote captive lion hunting or captive lion breeding activities,” which is said to be the reason for the split.

None more so than the fallout after the 2015 announcement that it had adopted a resolution at its annual general meeting to distance itself from the captive lion breeding and captive lion hunting industries which led to several court cases. At the time. Burger said his organisation stood by its resolution to distance itself from captivebred lion hunting and would defend its resolution in court.

Andrew Venter CEO of Wildlands Trust and executive producer of the documentary film Blood Lions, told News 24, “It would be tragic for the South African hunting and tourism industries if Phasa were to backtrack on its commitment to stop the hunting of captive bred lions in South Africa. “Stan Burger has led the charge to clean up the hunting industry in this regard, something I can attest to that there is little doubt.”

He said Phasa had, for the past 18 months, been under significant pressure from the “unethical hunting fraternity in South Africa”. “It’s unfortunate that it appears that this faction may be prevailing. The fallout from the local and global outrage will further damage the industry and South Africa’s conservation reputation,” Venter said.