Canning the Canned Hunt

The government of South Africa, one of the largest captive hunting regions on the globe, officially banned the canned hunting of lions in June. About 120 active lion breeders run lucrative enterprises, where they breed and sell their lions to canned hunts frequented by trophy seeking tourists; about 1,000 of these lions are killed each year.

In 2007, the government proposed laws prohibiting the hunting of captive-reared lions until at least two years after their release into the wild. Obstinate breeders challenged the proposal in court, insisting that hunters should be allowed to shoot the lions just days after their release. A High Court judge ruled in favor of the government in June, stating that the country's biodiversity must be protected, and that breeding lions in captivity for the sole purpose of conducting canned hunts does not further lion protection.

Breeders are now threatening to appeal the High Court's decision.

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