4: Chris Mercer – De-constructing the Canned Lion Industry


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De-constructing the canned lion industry by Chris Mercer, Director, Campaign Against Canned Hunting.



© Chris Mercer

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 theCampaign 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.

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