Roars of anger over canned-hunt­ing de­ci­sion

Saturday Star - - NEWS -

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 Booky­, 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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