Lord Ashcroft has revealed in a new book that there are some horrible things happening with tourist hunting in Africa. It seems that thousands of lions are being bred for that purpose.
The philanthropist and businessman went to Africa to see how many of those animals are being killed in such a manner. Ashcroft revealed in his book, Unfair Game: An Exposé Of South Africa’s Captive-Bred Lion Industry, that there may be as many as 12,000 captive-bred lions in South Africa. That is four times more lions than wild lions!
Ashcroft is releasing ‘Warning,’ a short film that goes along with the book.
“It is no exaggeration to say that the abuse of lions in South Africa has become an industry,” he wrote in the excerpt which was published in the Daily Mail.
“Thousands are bred on farms every year; they are torn away from their mothers when they are just days old, used as pawns in the tourist sector and then either killed in a ‘hunt’ or simply slaughtered for their bones and other body parts, which are very valuable in Asia’s so-called medicine market.”
He explained that many of the animals are not fed properly and are kept in unhygienic, cramped living conditions. They are drugged frequently and if they don’t perform, they are beaten.
“This sinister system has sprouted up in plain sight in South Africa, inflicting misery on this most noble of beasts on an unimaginable scale,” he continued.
“My research suggests it is highly likely that there are now at least 12,000 captive-bred lions in the country, against a wild population of just 3,000. Yet, strikingly, just a small number of people – a few hundred – profit from this abusive set-up. Thanks to South Africa’s constitution and laws, they seem able to operate as they wish.”
Two undercover operations were part of the investigation: Operation Simba and Operation Chastise. They found evidence of animals being bred in captivity and then illegal packs of dogs being used to kill them.
The building trade in South Africa is also a large part of the public health crisis. He considers it to be similar to “another coronavirus-style pandemic.”
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Lion bones are often highly valued in the Far East, as people feel they can be used as an aphrodisiac and medicine. One carcass of a lion can be purchased for thousands of pounds and the bones are turned into wine or cake.
Ashcroft is trying to get the captive-bred farming outlawed in South Africa. All of the proceeds of his new book are going toward wildlife charities in that country.
“Lion farming shames South Africa, a country that I have loved visiting for many years. It’s time to recognise that it is a cruel and barbaric industry which has no place in the 21st century,” he said.
Unfair Game: An Exposé Of South Africa’s Captive-Bred Lion Industry was set to be released on June 16.
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