Written by Sophie Wood
The Australian Federal Government has set its sights on South Africa. It wants the South African Government to ban Australian citizens from participating in ‘canned’ trophy hunting. Canned hunting is a cruel and barbaric ‘sport’, where hunters pay large sums of money to hunt rare and endangered animals.
From infancy the animals, most commonly lions, are removed from the wild, bottle-fed and kept close to human-beings. These beautiful animals, marked for death, can be found in zoos where innocent-minded children are allowed to pat them. Because of this intended familiarity the animals begin to trust humans; completely unaware of their grisly fate.
Many hunting reserves operate on a no kill, no pay policy, so it is common for authorities to adopt unconventional practises so that clients obtain a successful kill. The targeted animals are hunted in small, fenced enclosures, thus ensuring a limited chance for the animals to get away. Moreover there are feeding stations set up on canned hunting reserves, so hungry animals are lured towards waiting snipers.
Each year hundreds of animal parts, called trophies, are brought into Australia by these hunters. In 2010 Australian government statistics cited 144 body parts from lions, including mounted heads, whole pelts and severed claws. There were also carcasses belonging to 129 zebras, 148 black bears, 47 brown bears and seven polar bears.
Animal welfare activists are counting on the Australian Government to enforce a law, which prevents the brutal ‘sport’ of canned hunting. These majestic animals must be spared needless pain, suffering and death, perpetrated by callous, cashed-up trophy hunters. Animals are not to be used for decoration above mantle pieces, nor are they to be used for fancy floor decorations. All animals have the right to be protected and to live safely in their natural habitat.