Four Paws has handed over a memorandum with more than half a million signatures, calling for an end to the barbaric and archaic practice of intensive breeding and hunting of ranched lions in South Africa, to Mangosuthu Buthelezi, leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and Member of Parliament.
Buthelezi presented this appeal to the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa.
“‘As individuals can and must act on our conscience,” Buthelezi stated during a press conference held to hand over the petitions. “That is what I am doing today. My conscience dictates that I walk side by side with Four Paws International.”
Each year more than 1 000 lions are shot, bred specifically for this purpose, on approximately 200 farms. The hunters pay up to 45 000 Euros to shoot the lions, which cannot escape. South Africa is the only country on the continent that continues to allow this practice despite public outcry and numerous protests.
A recent opinion poll commissioned by Four Paws found that 76% of South Africans believe the canned hunting is unethical, while 59% do not think it makes a valuable contribution to the country’s economy. In addition, the South African government has received widespread global condemnation for its support of the industry.
Four Paws believes that the results of the latest opinion poll and the petition handover are important steps towards protecting the species.
During September, the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CITES) will take place in Johannesburg; and Four Paws urges government to use the opportunity to announce an end to the unethical practice of canned lion hunting.