- South African government: MBoshoff@environment.gov.za
- South Africa
Canned hunting, the hunting of wild animals in a confined area from which they cannot escape, is not only legal in South Africa, it is flourishing.
Hunters from all over the world, but notably from the United States, Germany, Spain, France and the UK, flock to South Africa in their thousands and send home lion body parts, such as the head and skin, preserved by taxidermists, to show off their supposed prowess.
The animals involved are habituated to human contact, often hand-reared and bottle fed, so are no longer naturally fearful of people. Such animals will approach people expecting to get fed-but instead receive a bullet, or even an arrow from a hunting bow. This makes it easier for clients to be guaranteed a trophy and thus the industry is lucrative and popular.
We, the undersigned would like to bring to your attention our views concerning canned lion hunting in South Africa.
Unlike poaching, the trade involving canned hunting is not illegal in this country and is openly promoted and advertised as a source of revenue. However, our view is that it is nothing short of cruelty that hides under the cloak of "sport". In a confined space, what chances do the lions have of escaping from the hunter? As living creatures, our natural response to danger would be fight or flight. Flight, however, is not even an option for these animals.
Kevin Richardson, who is also known as the Lion Whisperer sums up the cruelty of this "sport" perfectly when he says, "Canned lion hunting, in my opinion, is likened to fishing with dynamite in a pond and then calling yourself a fisherman."
We petition the government of South Africa, in the interest of animal welfare, to reconsider its stance on canned lion hunting, or canned hunting of any sort, and to declare this practice illegal.
We thank you for taking the time to read this letter.