Australia 'leads the world' with lion trophy ban

Australia has become the first country to ban hunters bringing home their lion trophies despite claims the African industry boosts the big cat's numbers.

There are around 6,000-8,000 "tamed" bred lions in South Africa for hunters to kill and mount at a cost up to $18,000.


Ian Michler, maker of the film Blood Lions, which puts South Africa's big game hunting trade in the spotlight, praised Australia for leading the world with the ban.

"Australia needs to be congratulated, they have taken a visionary stand and history will mark this occasion down," Michler said.

Environment minister Greg Hunt said he hoped the move would "convince other countries to follow Australia's lead".

"In my view, one lion is too much. There should be no organised killing of lions and you get to do this job once in a lifetime, and this is one of the things I wanted to do on my watch," Hunt said.

The filmmakers hope Australia's ban will encourage other nations to do the same. Source: 7 News
The filmmakers hope Australia's ban will encourage other nations to do the same. Source: 7 News

Independent Senator David Leyenholm tried to pass a motion to defeat the ban but it was defeated.

The Liberal Democrat and hunters claim the canned hunts help Africa villages and prop up the numbers of lions.

Hunters and one independent senator claim the 'canned hunt' trade is good for African villages and lions overall. Source: 7 News
Hunters and one independent senator claim the 'canned hunt' trade is good for African villages and lions overall. Source: 7 News

"Trophy hunting, legitimate trophy hunting, is endorsed by quite a number of countries in Africa as a sustainable way of managing their wildlife," Leyenholm said.

Blood Lions was screened at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday. The filmmakers hope their movie will convince legislators in Europe to follow Australia's lead.

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