Lion Hunting is giving us a bad name

Stewart Dorringtonblog, hunting

Hunting Lions – why “canned lion” hunting is giving hunting a bad name.

Almost all lion hunts done in South Africa are released lions. There are very few wild lions to hunt as SA does not have many big reserves that allow lion hunting. So before booking a lion hunt, just check that it is what they say it is!
Unfortunately, the lion industry has been fraught with sensation and bad practices. These are constantly being exposed by the media and all hunters are therefore tarnished. There have been drugged lions shot, lions from petting parks, old circus lions, lions shot in tiny enclosures, lions with spray painted manes… it has been an embarrassment to the entire hunting fraternity. There has been public outrage both nationally and internationally and more and more pressure has been brought to bear on government to close the lion industry down.
Although the animal rights groups are campaigning to close it down, I don’t believe that they really do want to close it down in a hurry! The canned lion industry has given the animal rights groups a podium to reach a much wider audience than ever before and by doing so they raise more funds than ever before. This then makes them more powerful. The real danger however, isn’t just the lion hunting, the animal rightists want to close ALL hunting!
 
we should be campaigning to close down the hunting of captive bred lions! Stewart Dorrington
At the recent Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA) convention, I represented a group of older and more experienced outfitters and told the AGM that PHASA must disassociate with all lion breeders and further than that, we should be campaigning to close down the hunting of captive bred lions! Many outfitters don’t like it but they do it for the money. Its tough trying to make it on plains game in SA. Other outfitters don’t like it and they don’t do it either, but they don’t stand up and speak out against it because they don’t want confrontation. As I see it, those that derive any financial benefit from it will defend it and those that don’t will actively condemn it.
 
By supporting the lion industry, we lose credibility with conservation NGO`s like WWF, Peace Parks Foundation, SA Wildlife College etc.. These organizations tolerate and support hunting where it contributes to conservation.Stewart Dorrington
By supporting the lion industry, we lose credibility with conservation NGO`s like WWF, Peace Parks Foundation, SA Wildlife College etc.. These organizations tolerate and support hunting where it contributes to conservation. They have to tread carefully as most of their donor support comes from folk who ignorantly stand against hunting. So when these NGO’s see all hunters in the mix with lion breeders, they then retract their support of hunting altogether. This then influences the public opinion against hunting and therein lies the danger. Public opinion influences politicians and politicians do whatever gets them more votes. Look what happened to fox hunting in England, public protests forced politicians to close it down.
This is not a battle where scientific evidence is taken into account, its a political and propaganda battle to win over public opinion in favor of sustainable hunting. The lion issue is pitting the public against hunting as well as any hunting organization that appears to be supporting Lion Hunts. It’s a threat to all our efforts in sustainable hunting practices.
As a hunter, I feel there is no justification in shooting a captive bred Lion… its just not hunting. The result is 99% guaranteed. It’s usually a predetermined Lion often bought off a catalogue. As yet, there are no conservation benefits. There are a lot of unsavory hidden practices that go along with it – this is seen by the public and promoted by AR groups as merely “killing for fun” and it gives all sustainable hunting a bad name and will continue to do so until it is closed down.