Does this mean captive lion hunting is ultimately going to be allowed to continue indefinitely? Not according to Marthinus Van Sch- walkwyk, Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. He says lion breeders and farmers need to be prepared for the full implementation of the regulations next February. At that time, lions will have to be released into the habitat where they are to be shot for a period of 24 months before they can be hunted.
Lion breeders say this will effectively end captive lion hunting because it will be too expensive to maintain lions for that period of time. They have threatened the government with a lawsuit. In the meantime, at least one operator, Tam Safaris, says he has been issued a permit to continue to hunt captive lions indefinitely. There are reports other operators are seeking similar permits. It is not known at this point whether the permits in question are being issued by provincial authorities or national authorities. If the former, it is not clear that the permits will have the force of law after February 2008.
Right now, such questions take the back seat to news that captive lion hunting, as offered before, will continue to be offered at least through February 2008. It is to be hoped that offered hunts will be conducted in a dignified manner. We hope no one takes part in a hunt that a sportsman would recognize as being canned.
Still in South Africa, if you received a promotional e-mail recently from South Africa PH Johan Strydom indicating that serval cats are about to be uplisted to CITES I and become un-huntable except with a special permit only he can obtain, ignore it. The serval is not even under........(continued)