In response to the recent PHASA statement, Jensen Safaris, voices their opinion on the canned hunting industry.

How does this change come about? 

 The background is a new film that was released in South Africa last week, with the title “Blood Lions” – a well-documented take on the dubious lion farming industry and what PHASA terms “the hunting of captive-bred lions” – you can view the trailer at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T86GCjCpus

I am particularly embarrassed about the many Scandinavians that have either willingly or by lack of knowledge, been taking part in the canned lion shooting, and it made me rather proud, when the Nordic Safari Club subsequently removed all South African lion trophies from their record book. SCI have been slow in their reaction, and even mobilised well-known writer Craig Buddington to glorify canned lion shooting in South Africa – probably because hunting ethics play a much less prominent role in the US.

The problem does however go much further than the issue of canned lion shooting – just recently a Danish client bagged a canned leopard during a hunt in the Eastern Cape (as well as a canned lion) – commenting to one of the PH’s that “the leopard did not look healthy”! You bet it didn’t! Free State and Eastern Cape outfitters particularly, buy up large numbers of trapped caracals from as far as the Limpopo Province, in order to sell them to their clients (one operator bragged about doing 16 such canned caracal hunts in one season), and canned crocodiles are being transported from crocodile farms and put in farm dams in areas where they would never occur naturally, and are subsequently sold per feet to overseas clients.

Not only has PHASA over the past years covered up for these deeds – they have been actively involved in promoting them, by circulating advertising from lion farmers to their hapless members. I’ve been personally banned from taking part in discussions on their Facebook page, because they did not tolerate any criticism, and I do not expect that to change at all. In fact I don’t even think they can be trusted to solve the matter – they are bound to try and think out some scheme, where a set of “ethical” rules are laid down for members, with no-one able or willing to implement such voluntary regulations. Recently even the Minister of Environmental Affairs attempted to defend the lion industry via an insert in the Sunday Times, and their department lacks both manpower and know-how to effectively put a stop to the canned lion shooting. The most effective way would be for overseas countries to ban the import of lion trophies from South Africa – a step already taken by the Australian government.

I’m convinced we’ve seen only the start of the punishment coming our way – with this film now being distributed internationally, we can expect legislation that will not only hurt the lion farmers and their unethical partners in the hunting industry – we will see legislation that will hurt all outfitters in South Africa, irrespective of whether they took part in this con or not. It was all so avoidable, if PHASA had put “moral before money” as the editor of the German hunting magazine Jagen Weltweit so rightly expressed it in an editorial. PHASA and the majority of their members permitted to let greed get the better of an otherwise respected industry, and they’ve done untold damage to the reputation of hunting in South Africa.’

Holger Krogsgaard Jensen – CEO Jenson Safaris www.jensensafaris.com

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Blood Lions welcomes this critical insight and support and looks forward to working with more organisations such as this. It is clear that the overwhelming view being expressed around the world is that predator breeding and canned hunting are regarded as atrocities that no progressive thinking society should be sanctioning. Furthermore, all the conservation claims made by these operators are false and unsupported by the recognized conservation community. SCI, PHASA and the South African Government need to come to terms with this and start engaging in constructive ways.  We reiterate that the goal of the film is to bring an end to canned or captive hunting and the exploitative breeding of lions and other predators on farms across South Africa.