Att: Dept of Corporate Social Responsibility
Re: canned lion hunting
We draw your attention to the recent policy decision by Nedbank to withdraw funding from captive lion breeders in SA. http://m.traveller24.news24.com/Traveller/Explore/Green/major-sa-bank-refuses-to-fund-any-canned-hunting-programmes-20161027
The decision to cut off funding to an industry whose sole purpose is to produce living targets for a depraved hunting fraternity follows a growing trend. Our national Department of Tourism no longer promotes cub petting (a profitable spin off) and major tourism associations in EU like ABTA, publish guidelines for their members to discourage visits for cub petting, and volunteers from paying to pet lion cubs at lion farms posing as ‘wildlife sanctuaries.’
Australia, France and Netherlands have already banned the import of lion trophies, and most major airlines now refuse to transport hunting weapons and wildlife trophies. If you provide funding to lion farms, you should be aware that:
- They have no conservation value
- They impact adversely upon the survival of already reduced wild lion populations all over Africa
- They feed the fraudulent lion bone trade to Asia
- Their whole business model is built upon routine cruelty to lions at all stages of their lives, right from being removed from their mothers unnaturally at birth, to their brutal deaths by bullets or bow and arrow.
State capture is all the news currently, but in truth, regulatory capture by powerful industries like hunting has been the norm for decades. Conservation has not been spared. Hunters control conservation structures in SA as completely as if they owned them.
If government is thus paralysed, and the 8000 captive lions in SA are doomed to a life worse than death, then it is up to corporate South Africa and a public that loves wildlife, to take a principled stand.
We urge you to emulate Nedbank’s ethics and to withdraw funding from lion breeders and all the accessories, the hunting operators, the taxidermists who prefer to live off bloodshed than to find honest employment.
We leave you with some of the views expressed by Australian MPs in the Parliamentary debate which preceded to ban on import of lion trophies.
Director, Campaign Against Canned Hunting.
MEMORABLE QUOTES FROM THE DEBATE ON CANNED LION HUNTING IN THE AUSTRALIAN PARLIAMENT.
Jason Wood MP:
I spoke in this place in May last year about the appalling practice of canned hunting and today I rise with the knowledge that my words back then are resonating increasingly in our community, in our parliament and around the world. People see this practice, as I do, as cruel and barbaric.
Many believe that hunting of endangered species has economic and conservation benefits for countries involved. This is simply false. A report written by Melbourne economist Roderick Campbell from Economists at Large showed that revenue from trophy hunting represented only two per cent of tourism in Africa and that this tourism revenue is only a small fraction, considering that it is $200 million whereas the economy is $408 billion. Sadly, there are only 7,000 to 8,000 lions left in captivity, 160 of these in privately owned canned hunting reserves.
Mr Entsch MP:
It is not often we quote a thrash metal band in this chamber, but Megadeth's song, Countdown to Extinction, highlights the practice perfectly:
Endangered species, caged in fright
Shot in cold blood, no chance to fight
The stage is set, now pay the price.
An ego boost, don't think twice
Technology, the battle's unfair
You pull the hammer without a care
Squeeze the trigger that makes you 'Man'
Pseudo-safari, the hunt is canned
Ms Parke MP:
I believe that canned hunting is another example of animal cruelty in which Australia is currently complicit by allowing the importation of hunting trophies. By not acting to prevent the importation of hunting trophies, we are effectively supporting an activity which is both cruel and unethical, a form of barbarism that has a direct impact on endangered species we have committed to protect.
Mrs Prentice MP:
Frankly, I call this sport un-Australian. Australians pride themselves on living by the creed of a fair go. Where is the fair go for these animals?
Ms Hall MP
Trophy hunters are attracted to a situation where the animal is in an enclosed space and has some level of trust of human beings. I am not a person who supports hunting, but, to my way of thinking, this is quite a brutal and inhumane--
Interjection by an honourable member: Cowardly.
Ms HALL: - and cowardly attack on defenceless animals.
Mr Kelvin Thomson MP;
It is barbaric killing for macabre trophies. The idea of killing animals for sport is frankly barbaric and medieval but, if people really want to do it, then at least we should have a level playing field. The lions have teeth and claws; so give the hunter an appropriately sized knife and fire up the lions a bit before the contest by not feeding them for a couple of days. That would be fairer.