Canned Lion Hunting

canned lion hunting

Canned lion hunting is the practice of shooting lions that are kept in a cage or confined area. The “shooters” pay large sums of money to kill the animals. Most of the lions used in canned hunts have been bred on a farm to be killed.

Lion Farms & Canned Hunting in South Africa

According to a 2013 story by The Guardian,

“Moreson ranch is one of more than 160 such farms legally breeding big cats in South Africa. There are now more lions held in captivity (upwards of 5,000) in the country than live wild (about 2,000). While the owners of this ranch insist they do not hunt and kill their lions, animal welfare groups say most breeders sell their stock to be shot dead by wealthy trophy-hunters from Europe and North America, or for traditional medicine in Asia.”



The Cook Report – Canned Lion Hunting

From Roger Cook (The Cook Report), who reported on canned lion hunting in Africa:

“So-called ‘canned hunting’ involves unfairly preventing the target animal from escaping the hunter, thereby eliminating ‘fair chase’ and guaranteeing the hunter a trophy – for which he will have paid up to £25,000. The hapless animal is handicapped either by being confined to a small enclosure or because it has lost its fear of humans as a result of hand-rearing. Some are even tranquilised, as the Cook Report found in South Africa when it brought this ghastly trade to public attention in 1997.

After the programme, the Mandela government outlawed the practice, but this enlightened change in the law was successfully challenged under succeeding administrations by the influential Predator Breeders Association – and is now both legal and flourishing. There are fewer than 3000 lions left in the ’wild’ in South Africa, but more than 8,000 in captivity, being bred – like grouse – exclusively to be shot. What’s more, some of the volunteers who have paid to help raise them have been deliberately misled into believing that they are helping conservation. Nothing could be further from the truth.

This is a multi-million pound industry, founded on cruelty and fuelled by money. It is certainly not a sport. The South African Government needs to be persuaded to close it down, once and for all…”



More About Canned Lions – The Campaign Against Canned Hunting

The Campaign Against Canned Hunting (CACH) is an animal advocacy group founded by Chris Merce and Bev Perva.

“There are fewer than 4000 lions left in the ’wild’ in South Africa, but more than 8,000 in captivity, being bred for the bullet or the arrow.  Lion farming is a real threat to wild lion prides, for many reasons.  going capture of wild lions to introduce fresh blood into captive breeding, and the growth of the lion bone trade to Asia will impact severely on wild lions from poaching. This toxic and cruel industry needs to be closed down.”



Effort to Ban Australians from Participating in Canned Hunts


Join the fight against canned lion hunting. Visit the CACH website at


In 1992, the metal band Megadeth released the album Countdown to Extinction. The title track of the album is about canned lion hunting.

“The main idea came from Nick, who saw and article in Time magazine about these assholes who poach and hunt animals [like James Hetfield, for example?]. It disgusted all of us. These guys get ten to twenty thousand dollars per animal, depending on the rarity of the species. We all felt it was the perfect example of a society going mad, becoming extinct.”

Countdown To Extinction

[Mustaine – Ellefson – Menza – Friedman]
Endangered species, caged in fright
Shot in cold blood, no chance to fight
The stage in set, now pay the price
An ego boost don’t think twice
Technology, the battle’s unfair
You pull the hammer without a care
Squeeze the trigger that makes you Man
Pseudo-safari, the hunt is canned …
The hunt is canned
All are gone, all but one
No contest, nowhere to run
No more left, only one
This is it, this is the Countdown to Extinction
Tell the truth, you wouldn’t dare
The skin and trophy, oh so rare
Silence speaks louder than words
Ignore the guilt, and take your turn
Liars anagram is “lairs”
Man you were never even there
Killed a few feet from the cages
Point blank, you’re so courageous …
So courageous
One hour from now
Another species of life form
Will disappear off the face of the planet
Forever … and the rate is accelerating



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