Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, is coming under fire for his position on big game trophy hunting.
In a recent interview with British television network, ITV News, Prince William claimed that there are circumstances in which commercial big game hunting can actually be a good thing. For instance trophy hunting, in some cases, can have a positive impact on efforts to save endangered species, as reported by The Guardian.
“So when [an animal] is infertile, he’s at the end of his life, if somebody out there wants to pay that money – and it wouldn’t be me – but if somebody did, then as long as that money goes back into protection of the species then it is a justifiable means of conserving species that are under serious threat,” he said.
Though he emphasized conservation, animal rights activists are in an uproar over Prince William’s statement.
Lion Aid, a UK-based charity, is just one of the organizations speaking out against his comments. The group released the following statement:
“With likely less than 15,000 wild lions left in Africa, there is no place for commercial hunting of lions. With an estimated 1,500 wild male lions in existence and with current ‘offtake’ for trophy hunting of 300 per annum, continued trophy hunting cannot be deemed as sustainable. A lion of six years of age is not ‘post reproduction’, in fact it is just coming into his maturity, yet it is at this age most African Countries offer these prime males as trophy.”
This isn’t the first time the heir to the British throne has come under fire on the subject of hunting.
In 2014, he went on a deer and wild boar hunting trip in Spain. The problem was that the trip was just a day before he launched a high-profile appeal to stop the illegal hunting of wildlife.
Though the hunting trip was legal, Prince William was scrutinized for the trip’s poor timing. Despite the criticisms and backlash, he continues to speak out against the detrimental effects of poaching.
In the same interview, the Duke of Cambridge also cited a link between poaching and terrorism, and called for action to break any connection between the two.
“In certain areas there is potential evidence and links that I can’t go into myself but I know of that are of a concern that I think we should be taking more urgent action,” he said.
If there’s one thing that hunters and anti-hunters can agree is on, it’s that there is no place in the world for poaching or terrorism.