I am in awe at the success of the hunting industry’s invasion and
occupation of the field of conservation. This enables them to exclude
real conservationists, who think that conservation should be about
protecting wildlife, by referring to them dismissively as ‘bunny
huggers,’ ‘radicals’ or even ‘extremists.’

One strategy employed by the hunters is to get ‘prestigious’ entities
and celebrities to make grandiose claims in support of the ‘sport.’
Same tactic as the tobacco industry. Not surprisingly, since
propaganda is designed to confuse, it is apparent that many people who
are intuitively opposed to hunting are confused by the pro-hunting
arguments. This impedes efforts to get the sport banned. However,
none of the claims made by the hunting fraternity to justify their
cruel ‘sport’ bear intelligent analysis. There is a good expose of the
hunting arguments in Mathew Scully’s book ‘Dominion’ and also on our

We find it a common failing among environmental journalists and
wildlife documentary film makers that they do not do their homework on
this complex issue, leaving the trophy hunters free to make
extravagant claims which are left unchallenged. For example:

Hunters claim: the captive breeders are boosting numbers of wild
animals, so they must be conservationists. Answer: once you remove the
animals from their natural environment and place them into factory
farms or fenced camps, to breed living targets, what you have is a
straightforward commercial operation. Wild animals are now no longer
wild – they have become alternative livestock, being farmed. They are
not part of a functioning eco-system. Being proud of boosting the
numbers of these miserable prisoners is as absurd as boasting about
our huge prison population, and claiming that the increasing number of
prisoners proves that we are a healthy society.

Hunters claim: Give it a value and it will be preserved ie the only
way to save African wildlife is to systematically hunt it. Answer:
That is as absurd as arguing that it is only whaling which will save
the whales. This false argument was made all the time and never once
challenged by conservation authorities. Indeed they actually endorse
this nonsense! Any intelligent person will know that the only way to
save Africa’s wildlife is to extend the area under conservation and
then protect it rigidly from rich whites (hunters) and poor blacks

Hunters claim: fair chase makes trophy hunting ethical. Fair chase
is an illusion dreamed up by public relations experts to support a
wealthy industry. There is little or no fair chase when all animals
are hunted in fenced camps, using trackers, radio communications, high
powered rifles and telescopic sights. Take the rule that to be
ethical, a hunter must walk at least three hundred paces from his
vehicle. What a silly, pointless rule. The animal still suffers and
dies, the loss to biodiversity the same, whether the hunter has walked
two or four hundred paces. The rule is there to enable propagandists
to import the notion of fair chase in to the field of biodiversity
protection, where it has no relevance.
All sport hunting – killing and hurting animals for fun – is
intrinsically cruel, un-Christian, un-Islamic, un-Buddhist and should
in my view be criminalised. After all it is illegal under the Animals
Protection Act to beat a dog or a donkey. Do hunters seriously
contend that lions and elephants feel less pain than dogs and donkeys?

Chris Mercer and Bev Pervan
Campaign Against Canned Hunting
Authors of the book For the Love of Wildlife

For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
Office 813.920.4130 Cell 813.493.4564 Fax 885.4457

Caring for cats – Ending the trade

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