This is an excerpt from an article written by Nica Richards and published online by The Citizen on 14 September, 2021

Conservationists and hunting associations are at loggerheads once again, this time over the appointment of a board member who is in support of the ‘ranch hunting’ of lions.

The Tourism Business Council of South Africa’s (TBCSA’s) recent appointment of a new board of non-executive directors has, according to conservation body Lion Coalition, the potential to bring South Africa’s already shaky tourism industry to its knees.

This is because one of the TBCSA’s new board members happens to be the Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa (Phasa) former president, Dries van Coller.

This may not seem like a contentious issue to the ordinary citizen, but for conservationists, in lieu of Phasa’s stance on captive lion breeding and hunting (also known as canned hunting), this decision does not sit well.

The Lion Coalition’s is appealing to the TBCSA to reconsider its appointment of van Coller to the board, as the council serves as “a key conduit between the public and private tourism sectors in South Africa and brings a fragmented private sector under the TBCSA umbrella.”