Over 75,000 animals ‘bred for the bullet’ to satisfy hunters in past decade

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More than 75,000 animals have been “bred for the bullet” including endangered species over the past decade, official figures show.

British hunters also have an appetite for canned hunts, where species are born in captivity and shot in confined spaces.

These include lions, baboons, monkeys, crocodiles and the ­scimitar-horned oryx, which became extinct in the wild in the 1990s, according to an ­inventory of imported animal parts.

The details are included in a report sent to all MPs by the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, which is working with the Daily Mirror to stop the importation.

A cross-party early day motion calling on the Government to halt imports has been signed by more than 145 MPs.

More than 10,000 were from “canned lions”. A similar number of Nile crocodile trophies were also exported. Other captive-bred species include white rhinos, zebras and sheep. The growth of the industry in South Africa has gone from about 200 trophies a year in 1990 to almost 3,000. Other species include big cats, hippopotamuses, elephants, bears, wolves and foxes.

The report details the thriving international market in crocodile and caiman skins operating under the cover of “trophy hunting” to get around the law.

Skins are exported from countries such as Bolivia, Colombia, Mozambique and South Africa. More than 50,000 skins have been traded in the past decade. Eduardo Goncalves, of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, said: “There are 10,000 lions sitting in cages in South Africa waiting to be shot.

More than 75,000 animals have been ‘bred for the bullet’

The epicentre of the captive hunting industry is South Africa. Since the 1990s, more than 30,000 trophies from 58 captive-bred species have been exported.

“Every year, the industry breeds 6,000 cubs for the bullet and for bones which are turned into ‘wine’ for Chinese clients.

“They’re crossing species to give sick hunters the thrill of shooting a hybrid. International law still allows trophy hunters to shoot endangered animals.

“It’s been three months since the Government’s public consultation on trophy hunting imports. When is it going to pull its finger out and get these sick souvenirs banned?”

Tory MP Henry Smith said: “The breeding of wild animals in captivity so they can be shot for hunting is sick.”

This article was first published by The Mirror on 15 May 2020.

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