The short answer is, no. Hunting for lions that were bred in captivity is going to survive, albeit on a smaller scale and a slightly different form. That's what I'm hearing from folks in the know and from PHASA, the Professional Hunter's Association of South Africa. I spoke with that organization's president, Peter Butland, just days after the court decision was rendered. He indicated that the ruling means hunters now will have the certainty that the lion they're chasing was released for a specific period before their arrival. In the past, some operators have conducted these hunts only a couple of days after releasing a lion into an enclosure. Some of these enclosures also have been rather small. The new regulations applied to lions will bring some standardization to these hunts.
"PHASA is pleased with the ruling," Butland told me. "It makes lion hunting subject to the regulations of permissible hunting methods and requires that lions be treated the same as all other protected species hunted in South Africa, as they should be."
Those regulations are spelled out in the Threatened Or Protected Species Regulations (TOPS) and include a ban on bowhunting, restrictions on the use of vehicles and hunting in small enclosures. You can read the regulations for yourself on the........(continued)