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This is an excerpt from a report written by the NSPCA and published online by Conservation Action Trust on 25 February, 2021.

The issue of canned lion hunting in South Africa was brought to the world’s attention after the 1997 award-winning “Cook Report” was broadcasted on a British television programme called “Making a Killing”⁴.

It showcased disturbing realities associated with the industry which involves the hunting of lions raised in captivity and unfairly preventing the target animal from escaping the hunter by eliminating “fair chase”, whereby the hunter is guaranteed a trophy. The animal is placed at a disadvantage by being confined to small enclosure or because it has lost its fear of humans as a result of hand-rearing, whilst some are tranquillized.

The programme sparked an outcry and a wide range of animal welfare and animal rights supporters, conservation groups, some hunting associations and members of the public called for urgent action for this practice to be outlawed.

Soon after the expose on canned lion hunting in South Africa, the then Minister of Environmental Affairs (DEA), Dr Pallo Jordan, engaged with environmental officials from all provinces and subsequently recommended a moratorium on the granting of licences for new breeding facilities, however this did not materialize⁵. 

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