South Africans Argue For and Against UK Trophy Hunting Ban

As the deadline approaches for commentary to be submitted to the UK government on its proposed Trophy Hunting ban, South Africans on both sides of the argument have submitted their comments.

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Photo: PAWS – “South Africa is also a paradise for hunters – Thousand of hunting tourists from Europe and the USA travel to the region – they bring home dead animals instead of photos as souvenirs. Nearly all wild species are available – it’s just a question of money. An especially perfidious form of trophy hunting is “Canned Hunting” of lions.”

Saai, an organisation that protects the interests of farmers – including game farmers – in South Africa, argues that there is value in legal trophy hunting, and that it has helped in the recovery of threatened species. Ross Harvey, a South African environmental economist, says there is no place for trophy hunting and that it perpetuates a “colonial and apartheid-era master-slave dynamic”.

The call for expert evidence and consultation on trophy hunting was announced by Zac Goldsmith, UK International Environment Minister. The deadline for commentary is tomorrow, 25 January 2020.

The proposal to ban the import and export of hunting trophies to and from the UK has arisen from concerns over the overexploitation and inappropriately managed hunting activity. These fuel species extinction and biodiversity loss, according to the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).


However Francois Rossouw, CEO of Saai, disagrees. He says: “The legal and sustainable use of wildlife, as well as the legal trade in hunting trophies has contributed greatly to the recovery of dwindling species populations – and even saved animals like the bontebok and the roan and sable antelopes from extinction.”

Saai claims the wildlife ranching sector not only contributes to the conservation of wildlife, but also makes a considerable contribution to the economy through tourism and the job opportunities that it creates.

Louise Joubert April 30 at 12:26pm · To truly understand the horrors of captive lion breeding and hunting I guess one needs to really take a moment and understand lion behavior. The actual killing or shooting of the lion really only deals with the last couple of minutes of its life and as painful and horrible as it may for the lion at the time, it is the emotional suffering, cruelty and fear these poor animals have to endure while they are being grown into hunting trophies were the real cruelty takes place. With photographs and explanations I will try and take you into the soul of a lion born for one reason only and that is to be killed by humans for commercial gain.
Photo supplied by the late Louise Joubert – “To truly understand the horrors of captive lion breeding and hunting I guess one needs to really take a moment and understand lion behaviour. The actual killing or shooting of the lion really only deals with the last couple of minutes of its life and as painful and horrible as it may for the lion at the time, it is the emotional suffering, cruelty and fear these poor animals have to endure while they are being grown into hunting trophies where the real cruelty takes place.”

“We are aware that South Africa is being used in this debate as a prime example to lobby against trophy hunting,” Rossouw said in a statement on Friday morning.

“The facts and research used against our wildlife ranching industry are poor and we believe that the wildlife farmers and their representatives should be given the opportunity to state their side of the argument before a decision is made.”

Saai has requested a meeting with Defra to make presentations on the wildlife ranching sector in South Africa.

This week Ross Harvey – a South African environmental economist – submitted arguments in support of the ban.

In a report, seen by the UK’s Independent newspaper, Harvey said on Wednesday that trophy hunting “perpetuates a colonial and apartheid-era master-slave dynamic” as it mostly benefits rich white farmers while exploiting black workers with “pitiful wages”.

Harvey’s report includes input from 40 experts and academic research articles.

Harvey says other types of tourism would create 11 times as many jobs, and that the land currently used for hunting could provide 193,000 jobs instead of only 17,000. (Also read Ross Harvey’s article: There is no place for trophy hunting in the sixth extinction.

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Supporters of trophy hunting argue that organised shooting on dedicated land protects wildlife elsewhere, conserves land that photographic tourists may not be interested in; and that permit fees can benefit local communities. The photo above (taken in Tanzania) shows the conservation of wildlife and land because of hunting concessions (top of photo).

According to The Independent, SA safari companies are promoting shooting holidays to UK tourists, allowing them to kill captive-bred lions in fenced areas (in part of what Blood Lions exposed as a ‘canned lion’ industry).

In the Independent article, by South African investigative reporter Jane Dalton, she says official figures show that the number of British hunters returning with parts from farmed lions “more than doubled” in the three years after the death of Cecil (the Zimbabwean lion, killed by an American dentist) which made world headlines.