I have that news from Peter Butland, President of PHASA (Professional Hunters Association of South Africa), who called my office last month after meeting with officials of DEAT (Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism), the governmental body that has the authority to make a statement like the one above. Your subscribers can rest easy with booked hunts for captive lion this season, Butland said.
Longer term, it is not clear how captive lion hunts will be handled. It appears almost certain that they will continue; the ambiguity centers on the length of time that a captive lion must be released before it is hunted. The government has called for a two-year release period, while the South African Predators Breeders Association (SAPBA) wants a six-month period. This disagreement over release periods is the central issue in the lawsuit SAPBA has filed against the government. SAPBA says nothing less than the future of the industry is at stake, as a captive lion hunting industry requiring a two-year release period would not be economically feasible.