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By Marizka Coetzer


‘Shoot a lion for our school’: Animal welfare bodies outraged over lion-hunting auction

Private school offered prize of lioness hunt as part of a planned fundraiser.

Animal welfare bodies were appalled by a Northern Cape high school auctioning off a lion-hunting experience as part of a fundraiser. 

Jacques Peacock, public relations and legal liaison for the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA), said it condemned the planned fundraiser at Futurum Akademie near Jan Kempdorp.

Peacock said the Northern Cape private school’s advertisement promoting a game/hunt auction, with the prize being the hunt of a lioness in Tosca valued at R40 000, was appalling and deeply concerning.

Under mounting pressure from animal advocacy groups, the school has purportedly agreed to substitute the lioness hunt with two buffaloes, said the NSPCA.

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‘Clean kill?’

Peacock said the NSPCA unequivocally opposed the hunting of animals for exhibition, entertainment or sport.

“While acknowledging the role of hunting in South Africa as part of sustainable wildlife management, and despite claims of a ‘clean kill’, our experience suggests that such outcomes are rare,” he said.

“Our goal is to foster a future where animals are not viewed as commodities for human financial gain but as sentient beings deserving of dignity and respect.” Rural criminologist Prof Witness Maluleke said the fundraiser offers threats to animals and exploits them.

“The sustainability of animal rights cannot be maintained with witnessed tolerance of unruly behaviour of this nature. The ignorance shown by the institution has signs of far-reaching consequences with devastating impacts and it should be avoided at all costs,” he said.

Teaching an educational institution to protect and respect animals was unjustifiable, he said.

“Wildlife crimes should be taken seriously and animals should be prevented to avoid extinction and other risk factors,” he said.

Ban Animal Trading director Dr Smaragda Louw said hunting was unethical and immoral.

“The concept of ethical conduct – which is obviously what this school believes it is engaged in – has been usurped by the hunters, who distinguish between ethical and unethical hunting, while all they really do is to describe what is acceptable and unacceptable to them as hunters.”

Louw said hunting for entertainment and financial gain was always morally reprehensible.

“Bonding with nature through lethal means is an indefensible form of recreation and leisure.

“Morality evolves. Society cannot and should not decide what is morally right and wrong based on ancient practices. This is what the hunters live by: ‘we have always done it like this,’” she said.

Louw said her organisation was appalled that a school would use the killing of innocent animals as a fundraiser. 

“Hunting is not conservation, nor does it contribute to it. 

In this instance, it is only individuals – in this case, the school – that benefits from killing animals. Adding a canned/captive-bred lion killing to this event makes it more appalling.

Futurum Akademie did not respond at the time of publishing. 

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