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Over 500,000 Call for a Ban on Cruel Canned Hunting in SA

FOUR PAWS hands over petition to the South African government


SEPTEMBER 14 2016 – CAPE TOWN – FOUR PAWS handed over more than half a million petition signatures that call for an end to the barbaric and archaic practice of intensive breeding and hunting of captive lions in South Africa.  His Excellency Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and Member of Parliament, received the signatures in a press event. His Excellency undertook the responsibility to present this appeal to the Minister of Environmental Affairs.


The problem of canned hunting in South Africa is severe. Each year more than 1,000 lions are shot, bred specifically for this purpose on over 200 farms. The hunters can pay over $50,000 to satisfy their cruel desire to shoot a defenseless lion within a fenced area with no chance of escape. South Africa is the only country on the continent that continues to allow this practice despite public outcry and numerous protests.


A recent opinion poll commissioned by FOUR PAWS found that 76% of South Africans believe that canned hunting is unethical, while 59% do not think it makes a valuable contribution to the country’s economy. Fiona Miles, Country Director for FOUR PAWS South Africa, commented on the latest findings: “We believe that this poll is representative of the general public’s view on the practice of canned lion hunting”.


Furthermore, the South African government has received widespread global condemnation for its support of the industry. FOUR PAWS believes that the results of the latest opinion poll and the petition handover are important steps towards protecting the species. Later in September, the 17th meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) will take place in Johannesburg. FOUR PAWS urges the South African Government to use the unique opportunity of hosting one of the most important global conventions to announce an end to the unethical practice of canned lion hunting.


Fiona Miles of FOUR PAWS South Africa explained, “Today is the culmination of several years of intensive research and lobbying to bring a final and definitive end to this deplorable practice.” She went on to say that “it is in the power of South African parliament to secure the future of lions throughout this land”.


Along with the petition, FOUR PAWS offers the South African government support on the development of an action plan that will lead to:


  • the termination of the practice of breeding lions in captivity for the purpose of canned hunting
  • legally prohibiting the hunting of captive-bred lions under any conditions
  • legally prohibiting the trade of lion bones under any condition


FOUR PAWS has been actively fighting against canned hunting for several years now. #REALTROPHY campaign launched by the international animal welfare organization encouraged people to stand against lion hunting by sharing their photos of what they think a real trophy was. The campaign was supported by several thousand people from all over the world.