This last week we heard of the South African High Court ruling that in the medium to long term could result at last in the end of canned lion trophy hunting in South Africa.(Over 1,000 lions were hunted/shot in South Africa last year alone by trophy hunters, according to one report). Over the years, South Africa has had the sickening title of being “the world capital of canned lion hunting” and this hunting practice has brought our country into grave disrepute. I urge you to read two recent news reports on the home page of my site concerning the recent court ruling. The one is an excellent overview of the canned lion situation in South Africa and the ruling that appeared in the Sunday Independent June 14, 2009.The second is a press release from June 15th by Animal Rights Africa (ARA). What both reports importantly highlight is that though the end of canned lion hunting might be nearing, we in South Africa are facing a potential animal welfare crisis, as some 3,000-4000 captive raised lions are currently caught up in the industry.
From when we first exposed canned lion hunting in South Africa over a decade ago, many others and I have urged the government to have welfare provisions planned for the lions caught up in the lion breeding industry in the event that one day the sordid practice of canned lion hunting will finally be made illegal and banned. Today the government needs to work with all animal protection organizations, locally and internationally, to address this potentially fast looming situation.