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SA to rethink canned lion hunting policy

Johannesburg – The president of the Professional Hunters’ Association of SA has called for an urgent review of the body’s policy on lion hunting.

Since its policy was adopted in November 2013, the campaign against trophy hunting has intensified, and especially against canned or captive-bred lion hunting.

Association president Hermann Meyeridricks said: “While we are not completely against lion hunting at this point, it is time to revisit our position.”

The issue would be addressed at the association’s general meeting at the end of the year.

“We took the view that our position was a stepping stone to cleaning up the captive-bred lion hunting industry.

“We made it clear that it was certainly not our final word on the hunting of lions.”

Calls for a ban on the hunting of lions bred in captivity are gaining momentum, according to Meyeridricks.

“From my dealings with the media and the community, it has become clear to me that those against the hunting of lions bred in captivity are no longer just a small if vociferous group of animal rights activists.”

“Broader society is no longer neutral on this question and the tide of public opinion is turning strongly against this form of hunting, however it is termed.

“Even within our own ranks, as well as in the hunting fraternity as a whole, respected voices are speaking out publicly against it.”

Also, with a number of airlines and shipping lines refusing to transport hunting trophies, Meyeridricks said the association had to come to terms with the fact that the lion issue was putting at risk the reputation of professional hunting in South Africa as well as its survival.

“I have come to believe that, as it stands, our position on lion hunting is no longer tenable,” he said.