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France bans lion trophies

Milestone for animal welfare: France no longer allows the import of lion trophies

Following in the footsteps of Australia, France has become the first European Union (EU) state to ban the “import of lion heads, paws and skins as hunters’ trophies.” This was announced by the French Minister of Environment Ségolène Royal on November 19, 2015, stating that France will no longer issue import permits for lion hunting trophies into the country.

FOUR PAWS calls on the entire EU and the United States to do the same. Stated by Thomas Pietsch, wild animal expert at FOUR PAWS, “The example of France shows very well that a decision on a national level is indeed possible. If one of the biggest European countries sets a good example, the others should not hesitate. Germany is the second largest importer of trophies within the EU. According to CITES, around 19,000 trophies from protected species were imported to Germany between 2004 and 2013."


Until now, Australia was the only country in the world that banned lion hunting trophies from entering or leaving the country.

Hunters speak out against cruel canned lion hunting

Major hunting representatives are increasingly distancing themselves from canned lion hunting – the cruelest form of lion hunting. Europe's largest hunting exhibition “Jagd & Hund” in Dortmund (Germany) has explicitly positioned itself against the hunting of captive bred lions. In the course of the preparations of their upcoming fair in February 2016, exhibitors were advised not to offer canned lion hunting trips.


In addition, the largest South African hunting association PHASA (Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa) officially dissociated itself from the unethical practice of hunting captive bred lions at their annual general meeting.


Stated Pietsch, “This was a black week for the South African lion industry. The developments make it clear that this cruel form of hunting is on its way out. The South African government needs to act urgently before South Africa’s reputation will be damaged more severely.”

#RealTrophy: FOUR PAWS online campaign against lion trophy hunting

The FOUR PAWS petition calling for a ban of canned lion hunting has already gained over 216,000 supporters. With the #RealTrophy campaign, FOUR PAWS hopes to mobilize thousands more to protest against lion hunting by sharing their own trophy pictures.


With a photo of their personal #RealTrophy, supporters can show on the website what they are really proud of: a medal, a certificate, a handmade piece of furniture or a giant squash from your vegetable garden – all creative ideas are welcome as long as they are animal-friendly and not a hunting trophy.


In South Africa, lions are bred in more than 200 farms to supply the canned lion hunting industry. Today, around 6,000 captive lions are threatened with the same gruesome fate. The hunters mainly come from the U.S. and European countries.