What to do when Sustainable Use, becomes Sustained Abuse
Join the Global March for Lions to stop the canned hunting industry in South Africa and put pressure on governments to stop the importation of lion parts. And if you think that canned hunting doesn’t affect the tourism industry, then read our Cover Story. By Des Langkilde.
CANNED HUNTING is a practice that is illegal in South Africa, yet when lions get bred in captivity, hand reared for use in the cub petting industry, and then when these tame lions are big enough, they are shot in an enclosure for an enormous sum of money, it’s considered to be legal.
People around the world are calling for the South African government to ban canned hunting (and petitioning ‘ethical’ tourists to boycott South Africa).
“Our goals are to have trophy and canned hunting banned; to get lions on the Endangered Species List where they belong, to stop the export of lion bones to China, to stop the import of lion trophies in to the USA and EU,” says Christine Jordaan, who initiated the idea of this march in collaboration with the Campaign Against Canned Hunting (CACH).
And support for the march is BIG, with over fifty five cities in seventeen countries already planning their marches for the 15th (see the updated list with Facebook links at www.globalmarch4lions.org).
In South Africa, marches are being planned in Cape Town, Durban, East London, George, Grahamstown, Hoedspruit, Johannesburg, Pietermaritzburg, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria. Other African countries include Kenya (Mombasa), Senegal (Dakar) and Ugan da (Rogando & Kampala), and of course, Africa’s inbound tourism markets − Asia, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Sweden, UAE, UK and the USA.
How can you support the campaign?
Even if you are unable to attend a march in your city, you can contribute by:
- Joining in a Global Prayer for lions at between 10:00 and 11:00 on the 15th March 2014. Research has shown that focused intentions and prayer is incredibly powerful, especially with community participation. So wherever you are and whatever your religion or belief system, be mindful of the intention of this campaign and add your powerful energy to it.
- Spreading the word about only promoting or visiting ethical tourist destinations in South Africa. No one should indulge in cub petting; no volunteer should bottle feed lion cubs; in fact, no facility that breeds lions or offers cubs for interaction, should be supported.
- Educating local tour operators.
- Many schools take children to visit cub petting places. If you have school going children, write to the principal and educate them about where cub petting leads to.
- Signing the Avaaz petition to end the export and trade of lion parts (It’s interesting to note that Avaaz took ACSA to court last year for removing campaign posters in airports and won their case when the court ruled that ACSA’s censorship violated free speech rights under the constitution).
- Donate to any of the associated organisations listed on the campaign website. They are all ethical and are all working to help save our lions.
- You can also write a personal letter to the different governing bodies in South Africa, stating your objection to canned hunting and why you feel it should be banned (a list of South African Government email addresses is provided on the website). The Memorandum of Protest can be viewed at www.tourismtattler.com/wp-content/images/March-For-Lions-Protest.pdf
Tourism Tattler is an official media partner to the Durban march, which is being organised by Wild & Free, a local Non Profit Company (NPC No. 2013/153622/08. Website: www.wildandfree.org.za).
“The vision of Wild & Free South Africa is to be an active and influential non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that the wildlife of South Africa remain WILD and FREE and protected from degradation and commercialisation,” says CEO, Margot Stewart.
The Durban march will take place on the beachfront, starting from the Suncoast Casino complex (Pirates Surf Lifesaving Club) at 10:30 am, and proceed along the ‘Golden Mile’ promenade to finish at the New Beach amphitheatre (opposite the Tropicana Hotel) at 1:30 pm.
About the Campaign Against Canned Hunting
Established at the turn of the new millennium, the Campaign Against Canned Hunting (CACH – www.cannedlion.org) is a registered charity at the forefront of efforts to expose the harm being done by an industry whose business model is to make egregious cruelty to helpless animals a routine.
Chris Mercer, CACH spokesperson, is a recognisable face who has appeared on many local and international TV programmes, in interviews and documentaries. After a legal career as an Advocate in Zimbabwe and Botswana, Chris came back to South Africa in 1984, and decided to retire from practising law. He claims that he was dragged in to animal welfare work by his partner Bev Pervan, who dreamt of founding a wildlife sanctuary. Once they were working hands-on with wildlife rehab, he became sensitised to the suffering of animals.
When the Cook Report exposed the shocking cruelty of the canned hunting of lions, he made up his mind to spend the rest of his life campaigning for the abolition of canned hunting.
For an updated report on the issue please watch this video by Trevor and Susan Barrett, featuring Chris Mercer: www.youtube.com/user/TourismTattler