After much heated deliberation and discussion, the Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa (PHASA) just voted to ban captive bred lion hunting by members.
With a vote of 147-104, the members of the Professional Hunter’s Associaltion of South Africa (PHASA) just came out against the controversial practice of captive bred lion hunting for PHASA members.
For those not familiar with the details of captive bred lion hunting, the practice consists of raising lions in captivity (sometimes for petting zoos as cubs), then releasing them into a fenced enclosure prior to the arrival of a hunter, who then proceeds to “hunt” and shoot the lion. To learn more, check out this great article by Brad Smith here he discusses the details of this contentious form of hunting.
The new official stance of PHASA regarding captive bred lion hunting is below.
PHASA distances itself from all captive bred lion breeding and hunting until such time as SAPA (South African Predator Breeders Association) can convince PHASA and the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) that captive bred lion hunting is beneficial to lion conservation.
Just to be clear, this decision does not make captive bred lion hunting illegal in South Africa. Under certain circumstances, the practice is still legal under South African law and there will likely be some outfitters in the country who continue to offer captive bred lion hunts in the near future. Additionally, the hunting of wild lions is still 100% legal in South Africa.
However, this decision by PHASA to officially come out against captive bred lion hunting means that such activities will no longer be tolerated by the 1,300 member PHASA, which is the largest association of its kind in all of Africa and has a membership that consists of the vast majority of the licensed professional hunters and outfitters in South Africa.
Now that PHASA has officially taken a stand against captive bred lion hunting, it is a good bet that this controversial form of hunting will become much less common in South Africa. Additionally, PHASA may have headed off another brewing scandal on par with Cecil the Lion before it blew up in their face.
What do you think about the decision by PHASA to come out against captive bred lion hunting?