THE PROFESSIONAL Hunter’s Association of South Africa (PHASA) has lashed out at the South African Predator Association (Sapa) for “refusing to join” the worldwide movement to end captive-bred hunting.

PHASA president, Stan Burger, yesterday said that while many of the association’s international peer organisations had expressed relief that his organisation had distanced itself from captive-bred hunting – a practice regarded as embarrassing by many hunters – there were still other unresolved issues.

Amid growing support for PHASMs stance against captive-bred lion hunting, Sapa, which represents the lion breeding and hunting industry, is yet to join the worldwide move to reform the industry.

PHASA said Sapa was trying to preserve its captive bred hunting component. “PHASA tried to work with Sapa for a number of years in an attempt to introduce generally accepted standards for lion breeding and hunting, and it was only when it became clear that this attempt would continue to fail in the face of Sapa’s persistent recalcitrance that we dissociated ourselves from them,” said Burger.

In a recent statement posted on the Blood Lions website, Sapa said: “The hunting of ranch lions in South Africa is open and will continue as usual in the 2016 hunting season.”

Burger countered the claim that Sapa was seriously committed to the conservation of lions in the wild.

“In PHASA’s view, this practice is in fact the industry’s Achilles heel,” said Burger.

“We therefore hope that Sapa will come to realise that the long-term sustainability of the industry is more important that the short-term profits of its members.”