Public Media Distribution LLC. announced 5 January 2016, that it is releasing the much anticipated feature documentary ‘Blood Lions‘ on DVD in the USA (hopefully, with distribution across other regions to follow).
‘Blood Lions’ exposes the ‘canned’ lion ‘farming’ industry in South Africa, where lions and other big cats (tigers, leopard, puma etc.) are ‘bred for the bullet.’ The deceit starts with the ‘petting’ of cubs taken from their captive mothers (and from wild populations) for ‘tourist entertainment.’ The cubs are then hand-reared by unwitting, paying volunteers (under the guise the cubs have been orphaned), with the older cubs also used to generate income from ‘lions walks.’
Eventually, the cubs are transferred back to the ‘canned’ farms to grow big enough to be sold as a hunting trophy, where the hand-reared, captive lion (or other big cat) is baited within a limited enclosure and ‘hunted’ (but it’s more of a pre-meditated execution of a hand reared pet, not any recognisable form of ‘ethical hunting’ – assuming that exists). The ‘hunter’ takes their ‘trophies’ (head, skin, claws etc.). The rest of the animal victim’s parts are sold into the Asian hypothetical medicines market (under CITES permits!) with the majority (85%) heading to trafficking networks in Loas.
In 2015, wildlife trade monitoring organisation, TRAFFIC found there were more than 280 tigers being held captive within some 44 ‘canned’ facilities in South Africa, with apparent breeding of tiger cubs also evident and ‘tiger hunts’ also detected (read the story at Annamiticus, 7 August 2015). TRAFFIC noted that “there are no records of hunts in the national consolidated hunting reports” but possibly 13 tiger exports between 2009 and 2010.
‘Alleged’ hunting of a tiger with a bow, Gotsoma Safaris
The tiger has long been established as a CITES Appendix I species. So any unregulated ‘trade’ in tigers and breeding is clearly a breach of CITES regulations and demonstrates how little regard South African authorities, hunters and ‘canned’ operators have for any regulation of the ‘canned’ industry within South Africa’s borders.
For more information on ‘canned’ farming/hunting, please also refer to the Campaign Against Canned Hunting (CACH).