Canned hunting is the practise of shooting an animal that has no capacity to escape the hunter either by being humanised (tame) or physically (fenced) contained. Some relocate animals a few days or hours before a hunt for the perception of a “fair” kill, lions are sometimes baited or drugged.
Every single day in South Africa at least two to three captive bred or tame lions are being killed in canned hunts and hundreds more are slaughtered annually for the lion bone trade.
There are around 200 farms with somewhere between 6000 – 8000 lions (and other animals) in captivity. They are hand reared and habituated, bred for the bullet.
Cubs are taken off their mothers as young as a few days old then rented out to tourist attractions for cub petting and bottle feeding with travellers believing they are working with orphaned cubs which will be rehabilitated and returned to the wild. Predators that have been habituated can rarely be rewilded as they have lost their fear of humans which creates the issue of human/animal conflict.
Over 800 captive-bred lions are killed annually by trophy hunters, and increasingly, canned or captive hunting is seen as unethical and unsportsmanlike.
There is a lack of data to support the claim that hunting captive bred lions takes pressure off wild lions. Wild lion numbers across Africa continue to decline, and wherever it remains possible to hunt these, demand for permits remains high.
Very few, if any of the private lion farms and predator breeding facilities in South Africa can be regarded as conservation reserves as they do not work in conjunction with recognised lion ecologists, scientists or any of the global predator conservation agencies most are simply breeding or holding predators for a variety of commercial purposes and the use (con) of volunteers has become one of the most lucrative revenue streams. Some facilities are earning in excess of US$100 000 in some months from their volunteer programmes alone (average cost US$1000 a week to volunteer) all to support the breeding of lions for the bullet!
WHAT CAN I DO?
The quickest way to stop the exploitation and abuse of animals in hunting is by not supporting these industries. You can also put pressure on airlines by contacting them through their social media and asking that they refuse to carry ‘trophy’ items on their flights. Many airlines have already taken this stance. Share your concerns with friends, family and others about what the issues are. In addition you can also let the operators of these industries know how you feel. If these activities take place in your local area then contact your council and let them know. You can also contact your local MP’s to voice your concern.
HOW CAN I HELP?
The most powerful tool we have to help animals is our voice. Once we learn about the cruel ways humans use animals for greed, profit or pleasure we need to help educate and inform others.
If you want to do more to help, you can support us by becoming a member of Animal Liberation WA, and signing up to volunteer!