- The established predator research and scientific community do not recognize any of the breeders or operating facilities as having conservation merit.
- In marketing themselves as breeding facilities, these entities 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.
Furthermore, Thompsons Africa commit to the following:
- To not knowingly 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.
“To have one of the largest tourism operators in Africa stand behind the ‘Born to Live Wild’ pledge and commit to promoting ethical and responsible tourism in South Africa is a huge step forward for the industry. We commend Thompsons Africa for pledging against these exploitative wildlife activities. Blood Lions is proud to partner with them in this campaign.” Pippa Hankinson, Blood Lions Producer.
In case of any queries regarding the pledge, please contact Blood Lions on email@example.com or Thompsons Africa on firstname.lastname@example.org.