The Born Free Foundation on Wednesday applauded the international premiere of the hard-hitting documentary‚ Blood Lions‚ which “blows the lid off the predator breeding and canned hunting industries in South Africa”.

Last year alone‚ according to the foundation‚ more than 800 captive lions were shot in South Africa.

According to the film makers‚ Blood Lions “shows in intimate detail how lucrative it is to breed lions‚ and how the authorities and professional hunting and tourism bodies have become complicit in allowing the industries to flourish”.

Will Travers‚ president of the international wildlife charity said‚ “South Africa’s failure to address the canned hunting industry has emboldened those who make a living out of the death of lions bred‚ raised and slaughtered on a ‘no kill‚ no fee’ basis.

“The canned hunting industry is unnatural‚ unethical and unacceptable. It delivers compromised animal welfare and zero education. It undermines conservation and creates a moral vacuum now inhabited by the greed and grotesque self-importance of those who derive pleasure in the taking of life.

“Blood Lions lays bare the truth behind the canned hunting industry that‚ far from contributing to the future survival of the species‚ may‚ in fact‚ accelerate extinction in the wild‚ leaving behind a trail littered with rotting corpses of its helpless and hopeless victims‚” Travers said.

Blood Lions‚ directed by Bruce Young and Nick Chevallier‚ premiered at the Durban International Film Festival at 6pm on Wednesday.