OPERATORS of canned lion hunts and traders in exotic pets should not expect any financial assistance from Nedbank.

It was revealed yesterday that the bank had taken “a decision not to finance any activity constituting captive breeding of mammalian predator species for hunting or the exotic pet trade”.

Drew Abrahamson, CEO of nonprofit organisation Captured in Africa Foundation, welcomed Nedbank’s decision.

Abrahamson said it was a step in the right direction.

“Captivebred lions don’t benefit from conservation at all,” Abrahamson said.

The Endangered Wildlife Trust echoed Abrahamson’s sentiments, saying: “The latest decision demonstrates the potential that lies within corporates to positively influence the management of South African biodiversity.”

The bank’s decision comes as the US Fish and Wildlife Services announced that the country has a ban on “any imports of captivebred lion trophy heads, skins, claws, teeth and other lion parts from those kills” and follows the release of documentary Blood Lions, which focuses on the canned lionhunt industry.

Abrahamson added that the documentary had had an impact on the captive lion breeding industry.

“Due to Blood Lions it’s become more taboo to hunt captivebred lions.”

Despite this, there was still a market for it, with South Africa considered one of the biggest markets in the trade, Abrahamson added.

South Africa had been “given the green light to ship parts and bones to Asia, which is shocking”.