The founder of the campaign against canned lion hunting, Chris Mercer, has slammed a claim by Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa that canned hunting has been banned.
The claim was made at a recent workshop by the portfolio committee for environmental affairs, and was themed: “Captive lion breeding for hunting in South Africa: harming or promoting the conservation image of the country”.
“Her claim is based on a narrow and artificial interpretation of what constitutes a canned hunt; one that differs from that which is accepted by everyone else in the conservation spectrum,” Mercer has said. “She argues in effect that hunts take place in terms of permits which are issued pursuant to the TOPS regulations, and are therefore legal. However, if one of the conditions of the permits is violated, for example a failure to report the hunt to the local provincial conservation service within the time limit stipulated in the permit, then she considers that to have been a canned hunt.”
Mercer said Molewa was conflating “canned” with “unlawful”, in the sense of contrary to permit conditions.
“This is of course a deliberate and misleading way of missing the whole point, which is the absence of fair chase.”
Mercer said hunting apologists contended a ban on lion farming would result in traffickers turning to wild lions in order to meet the demand in Asia for lion bones.