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 Bookyourhunt.com, 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