SOUTH Africa’s Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) has announced another small victory in the fight against canned lion hunting.

Canned hunting is regarded as a situation where an animal is physically unable to escape from a restricted enclosure and/or is captive-bred and mentally disciplined to escape due to humanization as a result of hand-rearing, petting of young animals and close human contact in captive facilities.

The EWT, in association with Wildlands, the SA Wildlife College and various other organisations, has backed an initiative headed by Blood Lions to secure global conservation support to halt canned hunting and non-conservativion-based captive breeding of lions and other predators.

This support will be formally announced at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress, which is taking place in Hawaii until Saturday.

The IUCN support flows from a motion submitted by the Blood Lions team and partners to the IUCN membership.

This motion has been approved by an overwhelming majority and will be adopted during the congress.

It recognises among others:

  • That the continued breeding of lions for the specific purpose of “canned lion hunting” or “canned lion shooting” by sectors of the wildlife industry in South Africa has escalated.
  • That professional hunting associations within South Africa and internationally oppose  the hunting of animals under “canned” conditions.
  • The limited scope of legal options available to the government to terminate “canned lion hunting”.
  • That most South African captive lion breeding facilities do not comply with the animal welfare standards published by the International Organisation for Animal Health.

The motion requests the IUCN director-general, relevant commissions and the South African National IUCN Members Committee to encourage the government, and other southern African governnments, to support this initiative by reviewing existing legislative provisions and regulating this activity and drafting, enacting and implementing legislation by 2020.