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Canned Hunting

Whether they agree with it or not most people are familiar with what is involved with hunting animals. Fewer are familiar with what canned hunting entails. In a 'normal' hunt the hunter goes out armed with rifle and a bagful of patience. The animal is tracked down and killed, ideally with a single shot, a 'clean kill'. Often the hunter returns home empty handed. Where chance is part of the formula even the most stalwart anti-hunt individual would probably give a tiny degree of acceptance.

Canned hunting is different. In a canned hunt there is no patience, no chance and no skill. The animals in a canned hunt are enclosed, there is no escape. It is quite literally 'like shooting fish in a barrel.' One sick hunt organiser actually organised it so clients could use a computer from the comfort of their home and aim and shoot an animal many miles away.

Normally though the hunter orders the animals he or she wishes to kill. Yes, a lot of women do it too. The hunter chooses the weapon be it rifle, bow or crossbow and is led on a pseudo 'hunt' to his/her unsuspecting prey.

The choice of animals to kill is wide but most want to kill antelope, gazelle or deer with big horns. Lions and other mega beasts figure high in the top ten kill wish list.

Canned Hunt Footage

Where do these animals come from?

These animals are especially bred for killing. In Southern Africa there a number of so called reserves and game farms who either double up as canned hunts or supply the places which do. That 'pet lion' which so many tourists had their photograph taken with on their holidays will possibly end up with an arrow in it, maybe several. Luckier ones may be shot. White Lions too. They are different and so appeal to the canned hunters gore barometer.

It is not just Africa. Canned hunting takes place in the USA too. Usually it is specially raised deer and pigs but exotic animals are sometimes included. No reputable zoo would ever supply animals to such a barbaric 'sport' and in fact AZA accredited zoos are forbidden to do so. Sadly animals do get in via the back door. Good zoos may sell their surplus to dealers who do not have the same scruples and will sell on elsewhere. It is so important today that good zoos (in fact all zoos) are members of breeding programmes where the whole populations are managed and surplus becomes a thing of the past.

There is no legislation covering canned hunting in the USA and so if it can be aquired it can be shot. The endangered species act offers some protection to rare exotic and native animals but does not legislate against private ownership. No-one knows exactl y what animals there are, how many, where and what happened to them. The canned hunting of exoticgame is not just popular in the USA but it is a growing industry. Not everyone can afford the time to fly off to Africa. There are as many as 500 hunting ranches in Texas alone without considering the rest of the country. Although some states now have laws governing which species may be shot there are places where they do shoot Lion, Leopards and Tigers too. Even Elephants and Rhinoceros have been shot.

South Africa cracks down on 'canned' hunting

Who Are The Canned Hunters

Canned hunters are any sick individual who has the money to pay for the dubious 'pleasure' of taking the life of a defenceless creature. Hunters may come from Spain, the Middle East, Germany, Japan or the fact anywhere and anyone who has the cash. There are literally thousands of Game Ranches in South Africa and whereas not all are into the Canned hunting game there are no shortage of places which are.

The Canned Hunting Ban

In 2007 the South African government proposed that the canned hunt be better regulated. One of the proposals put forward was that the specially bred lions should not be shot until two years after release into a hunting enclosure. The proposal was not welcomed by the canned hunt market which protested loudly.

In July 2010 the issue is still not resolved and the lion breeders continue to protest that legislation will ruin their livlihood. They argue that there are not enough zoos to hold the 5,000 plus lions held for hunting. They are now exploring the possibility of farming the lions for 'bone'. They would then slaughter and then export of Lion bone to the Asian market as an alternative to Tiger bone if the market was there.

There is a Facebook Group Stop Canned Hunting that you may like to visit to learn more.


Amelia Honnery from NSW, Australia on July 02, 2014:

I agree whole heartedly with you, they aren't just sick they're cowardly. I actually published an article in the last 24 hours on trophy hunting which touches some similiar topics.

I just don't understand how people think its okay. Canned hunting gives the animals no chance, it's not even 'hunting' its violent target practice. Should be banned worldwide.

Terry Pearson on February 18, 2012:

After reading your article about canned hunting, I dont believe that I'm in for a good nights sleep. It breaks my heart that these animals have no chance of survival. Canned hunting should be banned worldwide. As far as I know, man is the only animal that hunts for sport.Even that is wrong.

Peter Dickinson (author) from South East Asia on August 13, 2010:

H P Roychoudhury - Thank you. I believe that some in an uncivilised society would find the practice abhorrent too.

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H P Roychoudhury from Guwahati, India on August 13, 2010:

Canned hunting – is as good as a barbaric act in the civilized society.

Peter Dickinson (author) from South East Asia on August 11, 2010:

Butch45 - Thank you for your comments. It is nice to know that a genuine hunter (yourself) is against canned hunting.

Butch45 on August 11, 2010:

Hi I am a hunter and reloader but I have never heard of this canned stuff and still wish I had not heard of it. Some people will go to any means but this is a cross between hunting games and the real thing. I see it as not a sport but just a lot demented.

Peter Dickinson (author) from South East Asia on August 10, 2010:

Zimzamzim - Thank you for your comment. I am familiar with both the argument and the logic and agree with most of what you say.

Whereas the idea of killing any animal for pleasure disgusts me I do understand that there are people built that way. I am not against hunting for food, culling, management and pest control and have done my share. I see the necessity to control numbers of wild animals so that there is food for all and, if people are prepared to pay top dollar then yes....lets get the cash for conservation. Let them perform supervised culling in the wild.

Whereas you are probably right and that the cases of pet tigers being shot out of trees and declawed black leopards being blasted are probably the exception to the general canned hunting rule I still don't agree with it. Canned hunting needs to be re-addressed and thought out. What we have right now is nothing short of barbaric.

I do disagree with your statement "The majority of hunters who breed lions (and other animals) purely for hunting purposes do so in order that the wild lions are left in peace where they belong."...I think they do it for personal commercial gain and don't give a damn about wild lions in peace.

I do agree with your closing statement though. Hunting definitely has a role in conservation.

Zimzamzim on August 10, 2010:

As abhorrent as hunting in general and canned hunting in particular is for the majority of us, in my view it is an unfortunate necessity for the preservation of those very animals we all love so much.

The only reason there are still elephants, lions, buffalo for us to see in the many game reserves around Africa is because they have a monetary value - land is a premium in Africa and the only way that we can persuade our African leaders to keep some of it aside for these beautiful animals is to put a value on their heads.

Of course there are a large number of people around the world who are willing to pay a fee for a photographic safari. But we would be dreaming if we thought that the revenue generated from these safaris comes even close to that brought in by the many others who are prepared to pay top dollar to shoot the animal of their choice - the hunting industry generates millions of dollars annually, much of that goes towards taxes and levies in the country where the hunt takes place and this is what keeps the governments interested in keeping the game parks operational in the first place. Believe me, if there was no monetary gain to be had there would be no national parks, NO WILD ANIMALS. Period.

As it stands there is not enough land put aside for game parks and many of these parks are over populated and over grazed - hunting helps to keep the numbers to manageable levels - otherwise those animals in the parks would ALL die very slow, agonising deaths from hunger and thirst.

Now we come to 'canned hunting'. Those lions which are raised as 'pets' for later use in the hunting industry would simply not exist at all if this practice did not take place - they would have died out in the wild due to starvation.

While there are the shocking and disgusting accounts of lions being shot via computer, or cowering against a fence in a small enclosure I am certain that these incidents are few and far between and those who practice this sort of 'sport' should be punished and stopped. The majority of hunters who breed lions (and other animals) purely for hunting purposes do so in order that the wild lions are left in peace where they belong.

Please don't misunderstand me - I personally hate the idea of killing anything for 'sport' - it is abhorrent to me as it is to you. However I do think it is important to see the bigger picture.

In a perverse way hunting is a form of conservation. A necessary evil.

Peter Dickinson (author) from South East Asia on August 09, 2010:

Hello, hello - You are right. I don't know how anyone can kill for 'sport'. Sport is definitely not the word. I can understand hunting for food, for culling, for management etc but for pleasure? One wonders what other ways they get their kicks.

Peter Dickinson (author) from South East Asia on August 09, 2010:

Alison Graham - Thank you. I thought 'sick' was the politest word I could use in the hub.

Peter Dickinson (author) from South East Asia on August 09, 2010:

killrats - thank you. Yes you are right the suppliers are a lot to blame. Canned hunting is cowardly. I really cannot get my head around the sort of person who goes in for it. Have I met one I wonder?

Alison Graham from UK on August 09, 2010:

I had never heard of this - it is just horrible Peter, thank you for publicising it - how someone could sit in their home and shoot an animal 'by remote control' is totally beyond me 'sick' is too nice a word for it. voted up and shared.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on August 09, 2010:

Thank you, Peter, for writing this hub. I am sure not many people know about it. I never could understand any shooting sport. It is a minute and then you have a dead animal what is beautiful about that. When they alive and you can watch them surely they are far more fascinating than a dead one. Human beings are really sick.

killrats from Cape town South Africa on August 09, 2010:

Hi Peter, I can't agree more, they are sick people but and here I go the old route. It is not so much the hunter but the very SICK supplier or outfitter. Its the same as problem parents as to problem kids. The people who supply these canned hunts should in fact be put in a small enclosure with a very angery Lion, Leopard, Tiger, Wolf etc. I would pay to watch and here his explination on why he supplied aninmals that could not get away.

Peter Dickinson (author) from South East Asia on August 08, 2010:

prasetio30 - The more people who are aware of this awful 'sport' the more likely it will be banned. I am glad I reached you. Thanks for reading.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on August 08, 2010:

I never know about canned hunting. But I really enjoy this hub. I learn much from you. That's open my eyes about something out of my life. Thank you very much.


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