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What is canned lion hunting? Activists, industry, government disagree

According to the Conservation Action Trust while government, industry and activists agree that canned lion hunting is wrong, they don’t agree on just what exactly constitutes canned lion hunting.

Minister Edna Molewa recently called a meeting with industry stakeholders to address rising concerns over the canned lion hunting industry – after the release of a new documentary titled Blood Lions highlighted the conditions lions were being raised in.

Industry stakeholders did not appear to include NGOs critical of the industry however.

The Department of Environmental Affairs reiterated that it is prohibited to hunt a lion:

  • In a controlled environment (the minimum size of the hunting camp is not prescribed in the TOPS Regulations, as it will differ from area to area. However, the minimum size is prescribed in many of the provincial acts/ ordinances);
  • While it is under the influence of a tranquiliser (the minimum time frame before a lion may be hunted after it has been darted, is not prescribed in the TOPS Regulations but is regulated in terms of some of the provincial acts/ ordinances);
  • With certain methods, such as poison, snares, air guns, shot guns, or by luring it with scent or smell.

Here is where the big issue comes in – critics view the factory farming of lions as part of the canned lion hunting issue.

From the activists’ point of view if a lion is bred in highly unnatural and stressful conditions to be hunted, with no survival skills for in the wild, then it doesn’t really stop being canned lion hunting just because the area it was shot in was fairly big and it wasn’t under the influence of tranquilisers.

In other words, “While government appears intent on reforming and sanitising the business of breeding and hunting lions, critics want to see it dismantled altogether” according to the Conservation Action Trust.