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South Africa's environment minister announced long-awaited restrictions on hunting Tuesday, declaring he was sickened by wealthy tourists shooting tame lions from the back of a truck and felling rhinos with a bow and arrow.
Dismissing threats of legal action by the hunting industry, Marthinus Van Schalkwyk said the new law would ban "canned" hunting of big predators and rhinos in small enclosures that offer them no means of escape.
In addition, lions bred in captivity would have to be released into the open for at least two years before they could be hunted.
Van Schalkwyk said a previously proposed six-month delay would not give lions enough time to develop self-defense instincts.
But it has become also become a choice destination for wealthy gun-toting tourists willing to pay more than $20,000 to take home a "trophy" lion or rhino's head.
The new law, which enters into force June 1, bans the hunting of animals that have been tranquilized.
It outlaws bows and arrows for big predators and thick skinned animals like rhinos - one of the practices singled out by Van Schalkwyk as particularly appalling.
And it bans the use of vehicles to chase the animal until it is too tired and terrified to flee for its life.
But conservationists said the law would be difficult to enforce and did not go far enough because it stopped short of an outright ban on intensive breeding of lions, leopards and other predators which often remove cubs from the mother at birth so the lioness mates more quickly, and often destroy female cubs as male lions fetch a higher trophy price.
He came back and showed off his kill with a "nice rack". I said how much of it he ate, none
And trying to bring down a thick skinned animal like a rhino with a bow is torture for that animal.
Originally posted by Nygdan
Isn't it better for people to hunt farm bred animals than to go out into the wild and hunt them?
Canned hunting is both a deplorable waste of life and valuable rare animal stock, but shameful and weak. Just another ego-boost wealthy people can afford to give themselves.
But the animals killed in canned hunting wouldn't exist if it werent' for the hunting, they were born specifically for that purpose.