South Africa Lion Hunting Clarification, Plus Tourist Crime Warning


Published: May - 2008

This month I need to clarify my report on lion hunting in South Africa last month as well as pass on an important warning about crimes against tourists arriving in Johannesburg. First, the new President of PHASA (Professional Hunters Association of South Africa), Peter Butland, has taken huge exception to the report I wrote last month about captive-bred lion hunting in that country. The report, you'll recall, reassured would-be captive-bred lion hunters that already booked hunts for 2008 will be honored irrespective of the outcome of the lawsuit that has been filed by the South African Predator Breeders Association (SAPBA). SAPBA is challenging the government ruling that captive-bred lions have to be released two years before they can be shot. SAPBA wants that period reduced to six months.

What irked Butland enough to trash The Hunting Report in a memo to the entire membership of PHASA is my inadvertent use of the term captive lion instead of captive-bred lion. In all candor, I have never heard of this distinction before, and no slur was intended. After all, the lions that are raised to be shot by hunters in South Africa are literally captive animals, as are kudu raised to be shot on game farms. Both are kept inside enclosures they cannot escape from. Hence, they are captive.

In a sharply worded note that Butland sent the membership of PHASA, he says the term was interpreted in South Africa as a intentional slur on South Africa that let us down badly. As such, it reinforces his view that The Hunting Report has not given South Africa fair treatment over the years.

Here at The Hunting Report, I have never had any difficulty apologizing for mistakes and issuing retractions. However, in this case, I have no intention of doing so. My view is Butland and some members of PHASA are attempting to shoot the messenger here, instead of dealing with what they view as a problem they have allowed to develop in their midst. If PHASA is deeply embarrassed by captive-bred (or simply captive) lion hunting,........(continued)

 
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