Worldwide Rally for Cecil – Las Vegas gathering
Update: – In 2018, the Worldwide Rally For Cecil will become the Worldwide Rally Against Trophy Hunting (WRATH). To join the campaign to end trophy hunting, please visit WRATH and CompassionWorks International.
Tomorrow (4 February 2017), there will be rallies taking place all over the globe, as part of the Worldwide Rally for Cecil – “End trophy hunting now.”
The United Kingdom rally will be held in Birmingham’s Victoria Square, 12:00 – 14:00 hours.
Just in case you are not aware, Cecil was a magnificent, wild male lion, the head of his pride in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. In July 2015, Cecil was tortured for 40 hours and eventually killed by American Trophy Hunter, Walter Palmer and his ‘professional’ hunting party.
“This travesty has risen awareness about the brutal, selfish, and ego-driven activity known as “trophy hunting,” during which animals are senselessly slaughtered for the purpose of becoming a head hung on a wall or a skin thrown on a floor” – Worldwide Rally for Cecil
Trophy Hunting comes in many forms and targets many (often endangered) species with oft made claims (by the hunting industry) of “sustainable utilisation” and/or “conservation” credentials……..but these claims are not supported by either:
- Independent economic analysis (“New report reveals big game hunting makes minimal contribution to African economies and job”); or
- Any independent rationale view of “hunting best practice” (eg. “Report on lion conservation“) actually being applied historically, or present day to even potentially try to contribute to conservation in any meaningful, scientifically proven sense. This hunting ‘best practice’ theory, which is regularly held up in support of Trophy Hunting, but in practice is overruled by a priority for profiteering, masked by corruption and deceit.
But one form of this hunting is so depraved, it is almost beyond credulity that it can exist in our so-called civilised world. ‘Canned’ hunting has been in existence since the 1990s, as highlighted in Gareth Patterson’s 1998 book, “Dying to be free” – this ‘industry’ originated in South Africa, where predators (big-cats) are subject to intensive breeding processes, reared in cages, hand-fed, become used to human contact, with virtually no regulatory over-sight. Then one day, a paying hunter will be given the rights (in exchange for thousands of $) to execute (for fun, “sport” – killing for killing’s sake by another name) a chosen subject within a fenced compound – a lion is wheeled out, its tame nature leaves the victim bewildered and then it’s mercilessly executed for fun.
As an example of the deplorable levels of animal exploitation on show, please refer to the video below (Warning: Contains graphic content), provided by a professional cameraman Derek Gobbett (ref: “Are lion hunters in South Africa shooting tame animals? ” BBC News, 9 September 2016) so sickened by the inhumanity, he has chosen to speak out, with footage of a lion shot from a vehicle (illegal), plus a ‘canned’ hunt where “Between the killing party, eight female and two male lions (hand-bred ‘canned’ lions) were shot from tree tops, whilst hiding in burrows and cowering against enclosure fencing………the lions were simply seeking to evade the massed hunters’ guns suddenly raining upon them. The target animal’s bewilderment is palpable and rudimentary evasion opportunities heart wrenching” – IWB, 5 July 2016.
The ‘rules’ of this ‘canned’ hunting/captive breeding activity change from Province to Province, but the welfare standards of the captive breeding, let alone the so-called hunts themselves are a travesty of any recognisable regulation, or concern for animal welfare, with the captive industry basically left to its own devices, but at the same time lost in a self-inflicted web of its own making. This ‘captive’ breeding industry shames South Africa and the world – For more, refer to the Campaign Against Canned Hunting.
Today, there are some 200 such captive breeding farms, housing lions (8,000+), leopards, tigers….but the South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) that is supposed to oversee this industry, has no public records of exactly how many farms there are, has no real idea how any given hunt is conducted, nor how many animals are slaughtered, or indeed how many ‘irregularities’ are conducted under the cover of any given hunting Permit issued with a given Province.
There is no conservation purpose (International Union for Conservation of Nature) whatsoever in the ‘captive’ breeding industry. Some hunting associations have distanced themselves – the Professional Hunters’ Association South Africa (PHASA) made a binding pledge (November 2015) to eradicate the errant ‘professional hunters’ from their midst, those that still seek to indulge in the immoral practice of ‘canned’ hunts. It’s not clear if the PHASA has implemented any such pledge, or why it took so long to make it.
However, Safari Club International (SCI) (currently enjoying its annual conference in Las Vegas) is auctioning trophy hunts, including ‘canned’ hunts this weekend to help boost the SCI’s lobbying fund (“Trophy hunters, Safari Club International Convention, to bid on big game kills,” Huffington Post, 1 January 2017). The SCI reportedly wants to overturn the Endangered Species Act (ESA). With American hunters the predominant ‘sports hunting and safari’ addicts, this ESA legislation provides an essential protection for species the SCI and its ilk want to continue to kill (for fun).
This is why it’s important to gather for the Worldwide Rally for Cecil.