The Courier-Mail

Lion tro­phies im­port move shot down

- Chris­tine Forster P47

AN AT­TEMPT to al­low hun­ters to bring lion tro­phies back to Aus­tralia was re­jected by the Se­nate yesterday.

Lib­eral Demo­cratic Party sen­a­tor and gun en­thu­si­ast David Ley­on­hjelm moved to over­turn a ban on im­ports of all lion spec­i­mens, which was put in place in March in re­ac­tion to “canned” hunt­ing.

Canned hunt­ing in­volves lions be­ing bred in cap­tiv­ity be­fore be­ing re­leased from a cage, some­times drugged, and shot by hun­ters. There is no chance of the beast es­cap­ing.

Sen­a­tor Ley­on­hjelm ar­gued the ban was mis­guided and illinforme­d as canned hunt­ing was illegal in many parts of Africa, sug­gest­ing there were few po­ten­tial im­ports from the prac­tice. He said hunt­ing in gen­eral sup­ported con­ser­va­tion ef­forts.

“This is min­is­te­rial over­reach in a most au­thor­i­tar­ian man­ner,” he told the Se­nate yesterday.

“Dis­ap­proval is not a ba­sis for gov­ern­ment pol­icy and gov­ern­ments have to ac­cept the fact that peo­ple don’t want them interferin­g in their lives.”

La­bor Sen­a­tor Lisa Singh re­ferred to the out­cry over a US den­tist who killed pop­u­lar lion Ce­cil in Zim­babwe last month, say­ing it was likely at least a dozen lions had been shot since then.

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