Thursday, June 22, 2006

South Africa's Proposals to Clamp Down On "Canned Hunting", Or the Killing of Captive Animals Useless Unless Laws Are Clear and Properly Enforced

As I suspected – the proposals to more closely regulate canned, or captive “hunting” really were just pr. No guidelines have been set and really, because it’s such a huge money making entity, not much will be done.

What is canned hunting?

Essentially, it’s the largest form of rich guy cowardice on Earth. Basically, rich people pay lots to go to enclosed ranches that let you kill trapped animals. Basically, back-slappin, easy hunting.

Here’s a definition from

“Canned hunting operations, also referred to as "shooting preserves" or "game ranches," are private trophy hunting facilities that offer their customers the opportunity to kill exotic and native animals that are trapped within enclosures.”

Who Are the Victims?

The animals killed in canned hunts may come from private breeders, animal dealers, or even zoos. These animals are frequently hand-raised and bottle fed, so they have lost their natural fear of people. In many facilities, the animals expect to be fed at regular times by familiar people—and the shooters will be there waiting for them.

More on canned hunting can be found here:


South African hunting laws need more clarity: animal rights group

Mon Jun 19, 10:30 AM ET

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - South Africa's proposals to clamp down on "canned hunting", or the killing of captive animals, will be useless unless the laws are clear and properly enforced, an animal welfare group has said.

"All the bills and laws in the world will not stop the scourge of captive hunting and the loopholes will be exploited," said Neil Greenwood, spokesman for the southern Africa chapter of the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Greenwood was speaking as the deadline closed for public comment on government proposals to regulate captive hunting, which brings in some 25 billion rand (four billion dollars, 3.2 billion euros) a year in South Africa, drawing game hunters from Europe and the United States.

He said a major drawback was that the distance from which an animal could be killed or the dimensions of the hunting area were not spelt out.

"No minimum dimensions have been given, which then creates a situation that becomes subjective to interpretation about the specific measurement of the area in which an animal can be hunted and from what distance," he told AFP.

Greenwood also said the proposed laws needed to be implemented effectively.

"It's all very well to make suggestions but we need to know how the government plans to enforce all of this," he said.

The proposals were unveiled by Environmental Affairs Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk in May to bring in "integrity and best practices."

Citing examples where rhinos had been killed with crossbows or bows and arrows, he had said, adding that hunting should be conducted along "fair chase" principles pitting the hunter's wits against those of the animal.

South Africa has become one of the hunting world's greatest draws, attracting some 9,500 foreign hunters every year, the Professional Hunters' Association of South Africa estimated last year.

Some 9,000 privately owned ranches employ about 70,000 people to cater to foreign hunters who come to hunt animals including Africa's "Big Five" -- lions, leopards, buffalo, elephant and rhino.

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