The recently released feature documentary Blood Lions (www.bloodlions.org) has brought the horrors of predator breeding, canned hunting and a variety of other exploitative activities to the world’s attention. The film is a compelling call to action to have these practices stopped.
We, the undersigned African-based safari and eco-tourism operators support Blood Lions and its aims.
The group includes many leading non-consumptive safari and ecotourism companies across southern and east Africa. Whilst predator breeding and canned hunting practices are currently confined to southern Africa, we stand together as a pan-African industry in joining our voices with the global call for having them stopped.
And we do so for good reason:
- The established predator research and scientific community do not recognize any of the breeders or operating facilities as having conservation merit.
- In marketing themselves, breeding facilities confuse the conservation messages and priorities, specifically with lions, which in turn results in a misdirection of vital funding that negatively impacts wild lion populations.
- There is sufficient evidence to show that their activities put additional pressure on wild lion populations: intensive breeders have illegally acquired new genetic stock from the wild, and the burgeoning lion bone trade remains a risk because of an illegal demand for bones from wild lions.
- We are deeply concerned about the welfare conditions of the animals kept in these facilities.
- Canned hunting does not reduce the hunting pressure on wild lions and is unethical.
We strongly request that the respective authorities take note of the mounting global opposition to these practices and begin a process of shutting them down.
Furthermore, we commit ourselves to the following:
- To not book or otherwise support any breeder or operator that contributes to the cycle of breeding, exploitation and senseless killing of predators. This includes all petting and ‘walking with lion’ facilities.
- To continue our support and promotion of the formal conservation community in their endeavours to secure the survival of Africa’s predators in the wild. Without wild lions and the rest of the predator guild extant in functioning ecosystems, there will be no African tourism industry; a calamitous situation for many economies.
- To continue in our own endeavours towards wildlife conservation and economic development wherever we operate across Africa.
- To continue supporting an ethical and responsible interaction with Africa’s wilderness and wild animals.
- To continue promoting Africa as an authentic, wild and rewarding tourism destination.
We invite all operators to join us in committing to these pledges. To do so, please contact Blood Lions on firstname.lastname@example.org