ROGUE LION BREEDERS TARNISHING SOUTH AFRICA’S WILDLIFE IMAGE, SAYS PHASA
Pretoria, 17 July 2016 – The Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa (PHASA) has condemned, in the strongest possible terms, the malnourished state of the lions at Walter Slippers’ captive-breeding facilities.
“It is exactly because of these unethical practices that PHASA decided to turn its back on the captive-bred lion hunting industry at its last annual general meeting,” says chief executive Tharia Unwin.
She says visuals of starving lions held captive behind fences reflect badly not only on hunting and the wildlife ranching industry but on South Africa’s tourism as a whole. “Our wildlife is a key tourism asset and, in an age where destination decisions are based more and more on conscionable factors, potential tourists to South Africa are increasingly likely to live out their dream African holiday in a neighbouring country at the sight of these appalling images,” she says.
Unwin notes that Mr Slippers is not a member of the South African Predator Association (SAPA) and says that, while PHASA and SAPA may not be partners anymore, PHASA acknowledges the effort SAPA has made to lift the standard of lion breeding to a generally acceptable level. “Mr Slippers’ gross neglect must be a major setback for them,” she says.
“At a time when the rest of the wildlife industry is doing its best to address growing global opposition by promoting hunting in an ethical light with major conservation spin-offs, along comes Mr Slippers with his starving lions and threatens to undermine it all.”