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Wild Sheep Foundation on Captive Bred Lion Shooting


May 6, 2021
posted in: News

Bozeman, Montana. May 6, 2021. The Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF) added its name to a growing list of concerned conservation organizations denouncing the practice of captive-bred lion shooting. A joint statement was originally published by the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC) and the Dallas Safari Club (DSC) in November 2020.

“Our focus is on the wild mountain sheep of the world,” said Gray N. Thornton, president, and CEO of the Wild Sheep Foundation. “However, when something as bad as this is still allowed to go on, we’re not going to look the other way.”

WSF joined Deutscher Jagdverband (German Hunting Association) and the Boone and Crockett Club as the most recent signatories.

Captive breed lion shooting is the practice of breeding and captive rearing of African lions, which cannot sustain themselves naturally and then releasing them for the sole purpose of shooting them under restrictive conditions.

Thornton said, “WSF applauds South African Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environmental Affairs Barbara Creecy’s recent denouncement of captive-bred lion markets for shooting, cub petting, and other uses. Her pledge to abolish them in South Africa, and her support of sustainable utilization including the regulating hunting of wild lions will ensure their continued conservation.”

To date other signatories, include:

Rowland Ward Ltd.
International Professional Hunters’ Association (IPHA)
African Operators’ and Professional Hunters’ Associations of Africa (OPHAA)
African Professional Hunters Association (APHA).
Russian Association of Hunters and Fishermen (Rosohotrybolovsoyuz)

“Captive-bred lion shooting is not hunting, and it shouldn’t be confused with legal, fair chase hunting,” Thornton continued. “Hunting is an irreplaceable mechanism for conservation. This practice does nothing to support the conservation of wild lion populations.” 

The full joint statement can be read online.


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The Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF), based in Bozeman, Mont., was founded in 1977 by wild sheep conservationists and enthusiasts. With a membership of more than 10,000 worldwide, WSF is the premier advocate for wild sheep and other mountain wildlife and their habitats. WSF has raised and expended more than $135 million on wild sheep habitat and population enhancements, education, and conservation advocacy programs in North America, Europe, and Asia to “Put and Keep Wild Sheep On the Mountain®.” These and other efforts have increased bighorn sheep populations in North America from historic lows in the 1950-60s of 25,000 to more than 85,000 today. www.wildsheepfoundation.org.

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