Canned Hunting - The Truth Behind It All

Canned hunting is one of the most controversial and criticized forms of hunting that surprisingly exists today. This is a form of trophy hunting, where wealthy hunters are allowed to breed their prey mostly lions for the main purpose of being killed for entertainment. The prey is held in an enclosed environment with no chance of escape. A canned hunt then takes place which results in the death of the lion.

Is canned lion hunting legal?

Even though canned lion hunting is a terrible thing to talk about, there is no federal law banning the practice, especially in countries like South Africa. Because there are no laws in place to check this practice, more breeding facilities are being opened because they cannot be restricted. 

In South Africa, there are more than 200 breeding centres and over 20 hunting facilities with more than 5,000 lions affected. The lions are bred from an early stage until they are grown or big enough to be transferred to the hunting centres. At the hunting centres, trophy hunters bid their price for their preferred lion to be shot. 

These lions are exposed to human beings from an early stage, so they have no fear for humans, making them an easy target during the hunt. The remains of the dead animal like their bones and other valuable body parts are collected and sold into local or international markets. Even though many international organizations are trying to stop this act from happening, canned hunting continues to grow. 

Usually participating in a canned hunt does not require a hunting license or any hunting experience. This encourages hunters to travel from around the world to canned lion hunting centres where they participate in this horrible act. Because most of these hunters are not experienced, the lions are shot more than once, experiencing pain before they die. They then carry the dead lion home to display on their shelves and walls as souvenirs for their bravery.

The general population of lions in the world has reduced significantly in these past few years. Breeders involved in canned hunting don’t seem to understand that they participated in the reduction. Many argue that the lions are not from the general population so their activities do not matter. The international community disagrees with this mindset because some hunters may take this activity outside these hunting centres just because they feel it is allowed.

Canned lion hunting is a practice that must be banned.


This can only happen when people are educated on the effects of these hunting activities because the owners of hunting centres don’t seem willing to step down. Canned hunting is a serious threat to wildlife especially wild lion populations since they are the common prey. Demand for the remains of dead wildlife continues to increase which is another reason this practice must be banned because when this gets out of hand, affected wildlife might go extinct.



  • María Moreno Fuentes

    Los seres humanos deberíamos de existir para hacer el bien y no el mal… Es terrible todo esto. Daría mi vida por que no sucedieran estas cosas. Ojalá y todas esas personas que dañan a los animales lo paguen algún día

  • Chris Mercer CACH

    Hi Arnold
    Nice overview. the numbers are even worse – more than 300 lion farms now and about 12,000 captive lions is the latest guesstimate. No one knows before because conservation services in SA are virtually dysfunctional.

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