MBOMBELA – Animal lovers are urged to support the screening of Blood Lions, a documentary on canned-lion hunting, Monday night at 18:30 at Uplands Preparatory School in White River.

Organised by Mr. Dex Kotze of Youth for African Wildlife, proceeds from this show will be donated to a campaign aimed against canned hunting and predator breeding.

 According to bloodlions.org, Blood Lions follows acclaimed environmental journalist and safari operator, Mr. Ian Michler and Mr. Rick Swazey, an American hunter, on their journey to uncover the realities of the multimillion dollar predator-breeding, and canned-lion hunting industries in South Africa.

It is a story that blows the lid off claims made by these operators in attempting to justify what they do.

Last year alone over 800 captive lions were shot in South Africa, mostly by wealthy international hunters under conditions that are anything but sporting.

Michler has been following this story since 1999 and goes onto the breeding farms to witness the impact that decades of intensive breeding have on captive lions and other predators.

Aggressive farmers and most within the professional hunting community resent his questions, but the highly profitable commercialization of lions is plain to see. Cub petting, volunteer recruitment, lion walking, canned hunting, trading and the new lion- bone trade are on the increase. And all are being justified under the guise of conservation, research and education.

Swazey is followed as he purchases a lion online from his home in Hawaii. He then travels to South Africa to follow the path canned hunters do.

Producers have also spoken to trophy hunters, operators and breeders as well as recognised lion ecologists, conservationists and animal- welfare experts.

The film shows in intimate detail how lucrative it is to breed lions, and how the authorities and most professional hunting and tourism bodies have become complicit in allowing the industries to flourish.

However, there is also hope in the story as the producers cover the very latest development of the Australian government announcing a complete ban on the importation of all African lion trophies into Australia.

Blood Lions is a compelling call to action and shows how you can get involved in a global campaign to stop lions from being bred for the bullet.