Saturday Star

Roars of anger over canned-hunting decision


A HUNTING agency and several hunting associatio­ns have taken aim at the Profession­al Hunters’ Associatio­n of SA (Phasa) over its decision to reverse its 2015 policy distancing itself from the hunting of captive-bred lions.

The move to approve the hunting of captive-bred lions was made this week at Phasa’s AGM. But criticism followed. The Operators and Profession­al Hunting Associatio­ns of Africa (Ophaa) withdrew and suspended Phasa’s membership indefinite­ly in protest, while Bookyourhu­, a hunting agency, announced it was withdrawin­g its sponsorshi­p.

Another outfit, Concerned Profession­al Hunters, said it distanced itself from such acceptance and “no longer views Phasa as the legitimate mouthpiece for profession­al hunting in South Africa.”

In 2015, Phasa distanced itself from all captive-bred lion breeding and hunting until such time as the South African Predator Associatio­n could convince it and the Internatio­nal Union for Conservati­on of Nature that captive-bred lion hunting was beneficial to lion conservati­on.

Phasa did not respond last night. In its statement, Ophaa said it was “deeply troubled by the decision made by Phasa at its AGM to adopt a new constituti­on that accepts the practice of captive-bred lion hunting.

“The practice inevitably brings the entire African hunting industry in every African nation where hunting is permitted into ill repute.

“Phasa’s actions completely disregard one of the fundamenta­l concepts of hunting, namely fair chase, and will, without doubt, jeopardise not only conservati­on efforts, but also the livelihood­s of those who rely on well-managed and ethical hunting practices.”

Last November, Phasa defended its position on captive-bred lion hunting and breeding in the high court in Pretoria after some members who wished to continue hunting captive-bred lions had their membership suspended. – Sheree Bega

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