The crucial stance SA needs to take on animal encounters: ‘These practices have gone unregulated for too long’

Enriching experiences, lasting memories and itineraries that benefit not only the traveller but the communities that serve them – this are the responsible-tourism order of the day.

As a result, the contentious issue of animal interactions continues to be weigh heavily across South Africa’s travel and tourism landscape. A topic of debate for a number of years, especially with SA’s rich Big Five heritage and how wildlife acts as a draw-card to our destination. Now the issue is again being raised by Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA).

“The voice against tourism experiences that include animal interactions has grown louder and louder and this has impacted on how South Africa is being perceived as a tourism destination,” says Keira Powers, Chairperson of the Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) Animal Interaction Committee.

SATSA is in the process of conducting national public consultations workshop, as part of its Animal interactions study – click here to see the online survey – before it closes on 30 April.

“SATSA has been tasked by its members to develop guidelines for animal interactions in tourism. The Animal Interaction research is member mandated, board approved and being run in partnership with South African Tourism.” adds Powers.

This follows two months in which they hosted ten workshops across the country.

“We would like to encourage all interested parties to watch our video and to then complete a questionnaire providing feedback and suggestions.”

SATSA’s says it remains an impartial arbiter of the process as it seeks an ethics-based solution by conducting the study.

Commenting in response to consultation process Blood Lions, who has been championing the ill-effect of canned lion hunting and lion cub petty in South Africa and globally,  commended SATSA for beginning a discussion on the exploitative use of wildlife within the wider tourism industry.

“These practices have gone unregulated for too long. This has enabled a lucrative industry, encompassing the intensive breeding of wildlife for various commercial activities such as ‘cub petting’, ‘walking with lions’ and interactive filming, to establish itself on a host of facilities across South Africa.

Blood Lions says “while guidelines are a good start, the organisation is still calling for a complete ban on the use of wildlife for entertainment and human or wildlife interactions”.

Read More: https://www.traveller24.com/Explore/Green/animal-interactions-study-the-crucial-stance-sa-needs-to-take-20190425

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The NSPCA has huge animal welfare concerns for the animals exploited in the captive predator and canned hunting industry in South Africa. This industry is unregulated, uncontrolled and is responsible for untold cruelty. It is a tragedy that our wild animals are reduced to profit making machines. Coupled with this members of public are unwittingly encouraging and supporting this cruelty, so it is vital that the public are aware of the truth behind the industry so they can make informed decisions and hopefully choose not to support such an unethical industry.

Sr.Ainsley Hay, Manager, NSPCA Wildlife Protection Unit

Breeding magnificent wild creatures like lions in camps so that they can be slaughtered for ego and money is unconscionable and should be outlawed.  Lions have the right to live in the wild and to continue playing their unique role within the ecological communities of Africa.  The continued existence of the canned hunting industry is a moral outrage that diminishes us all.  This important film shines a light into the dark corners of this ugly business.

Cormac Cullinan, Cullinan & Associates Incorporated

Cruel, barbaric, macabre – all words used by Australian MPs about lion farming and the canned lion hunting industry in SA.  Our campaign was glad to be able to assist and participate in a full length documentary that aims to expose a brutal industry whose whole business model is routine, egregious cruelty to helpless animals – for fun.

Chris Mercer, Founder, CACH (Campaign Against Canned Hunting)

Captive lions have long been a blemish on South Africa’s wildlife and tourism landscape and their tragic story needed to be exposed before these practices negatively impacted on Brand South Africa. Congratulations to all involved in taking the time and making this happen.

Colin Bell, Tourism consultant and author of “Africa’s Finest”

“As a travel and conservation based organization, we find the “Blood Lions” documentary deeply disturbing. Despite being hard to watch, we urge people to get out there and see it. It is important to shed light on the dark and corrupt business of rearing lions for the purposes of hunting, in hopes of making a positive change. As we polled our membership, we found that individually each of our companies have chosen to stop booking all activities that contribute to this industry.”

The Safari Professionals – 30 Tour Operators based in the US and Canada

South Africa’s failure to address the canned hunting industry has emboldened those who make a living out of the death of lions bred, raised and slaughtered on a ‘no kill, no fee’ basis. The canned hunting industry is unnatural, unethical and unacceptable. It delivers compromised animal welfare and zero education. It undermines conservation and creates a moral vacuum now inhabited by the greed and grotesque self-importance of those who derive pleasure in the taking of life.

Blood Lions lays bare the truth behind the canned hunting industry that, far from contributing to the future survival of the species, may, in fact, accelerate extinction in the wild, leaving behind a trail  littered with rotting corpses of its helpless and hopeless victims.

Will Travers OBE, President Born Free Foundation

The Marchig Animal Welfare Trust, in providing support for the making of this Documentary, does so in the firm belief that it is important that the true facts behind captive lion breeding and canned lion hunting in South Africa, is brought to the attention of a global audience in order to create awareness which in turn will lead to much needed change.

Les Ward MBE, Chairman, The Marchig Animal Welfare Trust

This is a timely, courageous as well as a deeply disturbing documentary. It is at the same time, a voice for the wild and the voiceless … of saying “NO MORE!” to that terrible triad of financial opportunism, deceit and indifference to the non-human animal by those claiming to be conservationists.

Ian McCallum – Author, poet, psychiatrist and naturalist

With the constant pressure on wildlife, every effort must be made to keep our last vestiges of natural fauna and flora protected.    Canned hunting of any kind, along with the related consequences, must be condemned by humanity as not only a travesty of nature but also an utterly inhumane practise.   Taming lion cubs only to later hunt them is an utterly inhumane practice.   It is pseudo-hunting, a complete sham and does not even qualify as hunting on a sustainable use basis.   Wildlife conservation has to evolve into practices that are ethical, humanitarian and sustainable. This will not be achieved if there is not real and fair community involvement which has not been part of the hunting fraternity’s evolution.

Yvette Taylor, Executive Director, The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation

“Canned lion ‘hunting’ is nothing less than a bargain basement opportunity for foreign hunters to engage in one of South Africa’s most sordid practices. Hunting of captive bred lions entirely dependent on human fingerprints from cub to trophy is immoral, unethical and against all animal welfare concerns. The fact that it still continues as profitable commerce is a damning statement against all of us who have not properly engaged to snuff it out. Blood Lions is a good start to bring change.”

Dr Pieter Kat – Director: LionAid

Canned Lion