“The End of ‘Canned Hunting’ Looks Imminent”

African Lion Working Group

Update: African Lion Working Group (ALWG) ‘finally’ joins the Professional Hunters Association, South Africa (PHASA) in condemning  “captive-bred (‘canned’) lion hunting.”


The turning tide: Blood Lions v lion breeding and canned hunting,” Daily Maverick, 13 December 2015

“But now comes the real test……”

“From now PHASA will be judged not on their statement but their actions – how they go about it from here. Are we going to see them actually take on errant members? Are we going to start seeing the collapse of canned hunting and the closing down of breeding farms? We wait to see. The point is that the hunting industry has had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the table to make this decision in the face of what the world sees as appalling, horrific, and without any conservation merit” 

– Ian Michler (‘Blood Lions’

Africa Geographic, 19 November 2015

Breaking news has also come out of the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA) AGM. A motion has been passed that disassociates PHASA with the captive-bred lion industry until such a time that the industry can convince PHASA and the IUCN that the practice is beneficial to lion conservation. This came after canned lion breeders and supporters were apparently outvoted 147 to 103.

The ability of the “captive-bred lion industry” to provide any ‘proof’ that the practice is “beneficial to lion conservation” is of course ‘doubtful’ to put it generously.

If there is truly to be a transition away from the ‘established canned industry’ (an industry with a turnover approaching $100m USD in South Africa alone), then there will be strong resistance of course from those that profit from it. No doubt, ‘efforts’ will be made within the industry to maximise profits directly from “petting,” “lion walks” and ominously, the animal parts trade to Asia. This latter ‘business’ will only help to potentially fuel increased demand, thus the vicious circle continues……..

The argument that will be used against ‘us’ is that we are forcing the potential destruction of some 8,000 animals (including 7,000 lions) held in ‘canned’ farms, because “if it can’t pay (from hunting etc.), it can’t stay.”

So, the question is, where in ‘our’ vision will all these ‘canned’ animals get re-homed, rehabilitated and their long-term care funded from? Releasing many previously ‘canned’ animals into wild habitats is not an easy option – these ‘canned’ animals are hand-reared, captive specimens not ready for the wild (and probably never will be). Plus, through poor breeding management, many ‘canned’ animals are genetically mutated and could ‘pollute’ wild populations without due consideration/measure taken.

‘We’ (the ones calling for the ban of ‘canned’ farms) need to have a clear strategy, stance, statement on the best transition away from ‘canned’ farms we want to see, which will include of course ‘us’ seeking to fund sanctuaries, rehabilitation and a credible alternative to support these animals long term (rather than the animals remaining subject to other exploitative profit making schemes).

I for one applaud the potential ending of ‘Canned Hunting,’ but my question is, what happens next to protect (long term) those animals held in ‘canned’ farms from the ‘canned’ entrepreneurs’ next animal exploitation/money making fall back position?



8 thoughts on ““The End of ‘Canned Hunting’ Looks Imminent”

  1. What do you mean 8000 animals but only 7000 of them are lions? I don’t like Zoo’s but I know Zoo’s buy animals so maybe they could be bought from Zoo’s around the world. If they do know the genetic history of some, they could be put back into the wild. They are trying to re introduce Lions to Liuwa NP in Zambia where there is ample food and antelope. I am sure Kafue NP would take some as well and there are numerous Private game parks like Chaminuka just outside of Lusaka Zambia. WE should conatct all of the Sanctuaries in the world and inform them of who to contact if they want some lions.I agree a fund will have to be developed for people to donate to offer to help pay to relocate these animals and eventually there will be no canning hunting lions left. It is not an easy thing to deal with. I am sure that better breeding will come out of this as they know they have to clean up their act. Thank you for letting us know. All the best! joanne@sendseedstoafrica.org

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joanne, 7,000 lions, plus 1,000 other big cats, including cheetah, leopard and other species etc. No, it’s not an easy problem to solve in a quick transition, but any ideas/help is much appreciated. In the end, funds and government support will be needed to smooth any such transition in an acceptable manner (in my opinion).


  2. We need to raise funds and help those animals in sanctuaries and try to reinsert them into wild life when is possible. they are victims of the human being, of the unforgivable perversion. they could never pay with their lives. What they deserve is care and a chance to a fulfilled life until the end of their lives. Birth among them can be regulated in order to do not disturb wild life evolution if is an argument ?? But they have to be very well treated. I would say they deserve an apology, a strong valuable apology. They are not objects, they are living souls, just as we are, at least some of us…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. i have just read this and thank you for posting it. indeed there is a dilemma here. might i ask if any of the cubs can be rehabbed ? is there an approximate count of the cubs? wondering if any of the canned hunt ‘hunters’ would offer funds to alleviate this situation? there are some who have had a change of heart since Cecil was killed. another reason why walter palmer should have been heavily fined- $500,000.00 would have helped this situation along. Oxford University, who did the study of Cecil, may contribute to the lion’s care. Jane Goodall would be in favor of this, bless her.

    i agree with both of your posts-there is no easy answer. i’m sorry if i sound foolish but i am just offering ideas. i would very much like to see this happen and would be willing to contact whomever i was asked to.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I believe the point also needs to be made, that Trophy Hunting in general and the killing of wild lions/big cats must be simultaneously ‘resolved’ (ie. ended). Though the argument is made (unconvincingly in my opinion), that the brave hunter killing a ‘canned’ lion means that there is less demand for killing wild lions (and the consequences that might have for an existing, wild pride of lions etc.). The point is, wild lions continue to be killed rather than the ‘canned’ option anyway (eg. Cecil (may he RIP) and one Walter Palmer). The market developed for ‘canned’ hunters potentially means there are more hunters that have developed a sickening ‘taste’ for lion killing and seek to graduate to the ‘real/wild’ thing. Plus, the whole acceptance of a ‘legal’ side trade in lion/big cat body parts sends the tacit message that there is money to be made poaching wild lions and seeking to exploit an illegal route into ‘the accepted market.’ So, to my mind, the best way to tackle the problem is to seek CITES Appendix I listing and enhanced protection for African lions (and all other endangered big cats, rhino etc.) – https://iwbond.org/2015/10/13/petitions-seeking-to-enhance-the-protection-of-the-african-lion/


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