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PHASA views on captive hunts


Update: November 2017 - Split within PHASA on captive lion breeding

 

The debate over the acceptability of the captive lion breeding industry and the perception that it damages South Africa’s international reputation as a responsible manager of wildlife has boiled over within the hunting community and resulted in a split within the Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa (PHASA) following the organization’s annual meeting held in November 2017. The adoption of a motion to now support the hunting of captive-raised predators (like big cats) has led to some professional hunters, including seven past presidents of PHASA, to condemn the decision and leave to form a new organization known as Custodians of Professional Hunting and Conservation South Africa (CPHCSA). The Operators and Professional Hunting Associations of Africa (OPHAA), the Namibia Professional Hunting Association, the Boone and Crocket Club in the U.S., and the Nordic Hunting Club, have all severed ties with PHASA following the adoption of the resolution. 

 

Further widening the split is the Texas-based Dallas Safari Club (DSC) and Safari Club International (SCI) announcements in 2018 against captive-bred lion hunting. As the main proponents for big game hunting, the SCI and DSC decisions against captive-bred lion trophies, coupled with the current U.S. Fish and Wildlife ban on importing captive-bred lion trophies into the U.S., should add to a decline in Americans visiting South Africa for captive lion hunting.


 Update: 11-19-2015 - PHASA policy change on captive lion breeding

 

This past July, Hermann Meyeridricks, president of the Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa (PHASA) called for a review of PHASA’s current position on canned lion hunting due to the mounting public pressure against it. At the time Meyeridricks stated:

 

“PHASA’s current policy on the issue is, broadly speaking, that it recognises the legality of and demand for captive-bred lion hunting, and is working with the predator breeders and government to improve its standards and conditions to a generally acceptable level.” 

 

Today PHASA announced the results of their review and in a vote of 147 to 103, have passed a motion that “disassociates PHASA with the captive-bred lion industry until such a time that the industry can convince PHASA and the IUCN that the practice is beneficial to lion conservation.” Considering how much information is already available on how detrimental the captive-bred lion industry is for wild lion conservation, this decision marks another potentially positive step towards finally ending this cruel industry.


South African hunting association publically states need to review hunting of captive-bred lions



© FOUR PAWS

The president of the Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa (PHASA), Hermann Meyeridricks, has written to all PHASA members appealing for a review on the position of lion hunting in South Africa.

 

Read the full PHASA statement here.


PHASA President Meyeridricks openly stated that due to growing public awareness campaigns against the trophy hunting of lions and widespread condemnation of the practice, there is an urgent need to review the current policy of PHASA regarding the hunting of captive-bred lions.  Furthermore, Meyeridricks stated that the organization’s existing policy on the issue was no longer valid.

 

“PHASA’s current policy on the issue is, broadly speaking, that it recognizes the legality of and demand for captive-bred lion hunting, and is working with the predator breeders and government to improve its standards and conditions to a generally acceptable level. We have made little demonstrable progress on this front.”  (Our emphasis added)

 

Meyeridricks also stated that because of the pressure from airlines and shipping lines refusing to transport hunting trophies, PHASA has to mitigate the risk of reputation that canned hunting causes to South Africa’s hunting industry.

 

Although on the surface, this change of heart from a key organization within the South African hunting industry is further evidence that the campaign against the industry is making progress, it must be also be viewed with caution, particularly as the news comes shortly after South African Airways (SAA) decided to go back on their decision to ban the transport of hunting trophies on its flights.

 

Still, FOUR PAWS welcomes the news as there is no doubt that the trophy hunting of captive-bred lions in South Africa needs to be reviewed in its entirety. It is promising to see that the pressure applied from various organizations worldwide in driving public awareness of this cruel trade is starting to be felt by those involved in the industry in South Africa. It is now crucial that we continue to apply the pressure and make sure they hear the message that the world is watching and will fight to end this barbaric cruelty.

 

In addition to the news from PHASA there have been further developments in South Africa that reiterate the need for the entire industry to be reviewed. South African Outfitters, another professional hunting body, also issued a strong statement on July 26th expressing their opposition to the hunting of canned and captive-bred lions.

 

Read the South African Outfitters' full statement here.


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