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Canned Lion hunting and Regulatory Capture by Chris Mercer, Director, www.cannedlion.org, Campaign Against Canned Hunting
1. Are you mentally ill enough to want to hunt a buffalo with a bow and arrow? No problem, so long as you use a bow with a kinetic energy of 80 Ft/lbs and an arrow weight of at least 750 grains.
2. Want to shoot arrows in to wildebeest, nyala, zebra or impala? No problem – and there are no daily bag limits. You can kill as many animals as you like.
3. Want to shoot primates, namely vervets and baboons? No problem, you can kill two a day. (72 a year) WTF???? But both primate populations are severely compromised in the Western Cape. Cape Nature knows this. Primate groups are tightly linked families with a hierarchy and social structure. Killing animals randomly can have serious effects on the viability of the troop. Cape Nature knows this too. Now why would any true conservationist permit random slaughter of individual primates in troops that are already stressed? And what possible conservation reason can there be to allow ethically illiterate bozos to shoot such primates?
4. Love killing birds for fun? No problem, kill up to 10 guinea fowl and 40 pigeons/doves a DAY – with Cape Nature’s blessing.
5. What about caracals and jackals/ No problem there either. Kill ten a day. But caracals are listed on Appendix 11 of CITES as deserving special protection? Why are our tax- funded conservation officials promoting and permitting the excessive killing of an Appendix 11 animal to which it ought to be affording special protection?
After a career as an Advocate practising law in Zimbabwe and Botswana, Chris Mercer came back to South Africa in 1984, and decided to retire young. He farmed in the Western Transvaal for ten years, before he and Bev moved to the Kalahari to establish a wildlife rehab centre and Sanctuary. This they ran for seven years.
Now retired at Wilderness in the Cape, Chris keeps busy running the NGO which he and Bev founded, called the Campaign Against Canned Hunting (CACH), a registered non-profit and public benefit organisation. www.cannedlion.org
The couple’s work has earned them awards, both in SA and international.
CACH is unusual in that it is 100% run by volunteers. No one draws a salary, and donations are used solely for meeting necessary expenses.
He is often called upon to speak on canned hunting by the media, and when the Minister was sued by the Predator Breeders Association to get lions excluded from the TOPS regulations, he was asked by the State Attorney to file an affidavit in support of the Minister’s defence.
The couple are authors of two books, including “Kalahari Dream.” http://kalahari-dream.com/
This describes the seven years they spent rescuing and rehabbing wildlife in the Kalahari, and the problems they had with conservation authorities when doing so. This book is an expose of the weaknesses in SA conservation.
In March 2014, a Global March for Lions was held in 62 cities around the world to raise awareness of the work being done by Chris Mercer’s NGO Campaign Against Canned Hunting. The result of the Global March has raised the profile of CACH, and many volunteers have come forward to join. CACH is now represented globally, with teams in numerous countries – all working to stop cub petting, canned hunting and the lion bone trade