Wildlife

Jeremy Maggs, of South African news channel eNCA, speaks exclusively to Lord Ashcroft

By Lord Ashcroft

In an exclusive interview with Jeremy Maggs, senior journalist for South Africa’s eNCA, Lord Ashcroft talks about the horrors of lion farming, revealed in his new book, Unfair Game – 29 June 2020.
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SA’s captive-breeding shame aired in harrowing UK exposé

By Lord Ashcroft

Article about Unfair Game in South Africa’s The Weekend Post, Herald Live – 28 June 2020.

“Something has gone terribly wrong in a country which I love. I am determined that it must be put right.” Michael Ashcroft’s latest book, Unfair Game, exposes the worst of SA’s macabre captive-breeding lion industry as a high-profile investigation implicates top-tier  authorities, tourist hotspots and border-crossing criminals smuggling lion cubs.

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The disturbing truth about South Africa’s captive-bred lion industry

By Lord Ashcroft

22 June 2020 – Lord Ashcroft’s interview with Canadian Geographic about the shocking revelations in Unfair Game.

Scouted, shot, then sold: almost all captive-bred lions in South Africa face a similar fate. Born to entertain tourists, the lions are eventually killed in canned hunts or skinned for their bones.

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Slaughter Of The Captive Lions Bred To Die In Agony

By Lord Ashcroft

Daily Express serialisation of Unfair Game: An exposé of South Africa’s captive-bred lion industry, by Lord Ashcroft – 20 June 2020.

Tame and often drugged, they are sitting ducks for rich hunters. Then their bones are sold for Chinese ‘medicine’.

A LARGE lion with an impressive dark mane is released into the enclosure and pads slowly past a hunting party without a care in the world. When one of the hunt organisers whistles, it pauses, as if to make itself an even easier target, confirming that, far from being a wild animal, it is entirely used to interacting with humans.

The impact of the first bullet, fired into its front leg at close range from a jeep – despite it being illegal in South Africa to shoot an animal from a vehicle – makes it leap into the air. It then rolls forward, gets up awkwardly, and reels for a few seconds in confused agony as though on hot bricks.

As it scampers off on three legs to hide in the bush, the guide shouts to his client: “Shoot him again!”

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Good Morning Britain interview with Lord Ashcroft

By Lord Ashcroft

Lord Ashcroft talks to Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain about his new book, Unfair Game, which investigates South Africa’s illegal lion trade and explores what governments around the world can do stop the illegal bone trade .

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Biteback Chats Books interview with Lord Ashcroft

By Lord Ashcroft

On 16 June 2020, the day of publication of Unfair Game, Lord Ashcroft talks to Biteback Chats Books.

Lord Ashcroft talks to Biteback Chats Books about South Africa’s illegal lion trade, his undercover operations and what governments around the world can do stop the exploitation of lions.

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Iain Dale in conversation with Lord Ashcroft

By Lord Ashcroft

LBC’s Iain Dale chats to Lord Ashcroft about his latest book, Unfair Game.

On 15 June 2020, LBC’s Iain Dale chats with Lord Ashcroft about his latest book, Unfair Game, and the horrors of Lion Farming.

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The horrific truth about big cats bred for conservation

By Lord Ashcroft

On 15 June 2020, James Glancy talks exclusively to Lord Ashcroft about his new book, on the Mail+ Planet SOS.

Selfie tourism, body parts used in medicine and for jewellery, and the appalling practice of big cats drugged for trophy hunters – James Glancy talks exclusively to Lord Ashcroft on Planet SOS about his new book, Unfair Game; An exposé of South Africa’s captive-bred lion industry, which reveals the horrific extent of South Africa’s illegal wildlife trade.

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China’s wildlife trade still threatens us all

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in The Daily Telegraph on 15 June 2020.

My new book exposing the scandal of lion farming in South Africa is, unavoidably, full of grim and distressing details. Behind the veneer of the respectable tourist industry, thousands of big cats are beaten, drugged, starved, shot and skinned every year for nothing more than profit. The exploitation of these creatures from birth to death – and beyond – will appal readers. So will the lion trade’s links to international crime syndicates and the nonchalant attitude of South Africa’s authorities. With about 12,000 captive-bred lions in South Africa at any one time, against a wild lion population of only 3,000, this problem is growing.

While the world reels from the Covid-19 pandemic, however, one alarming consequence of this gruesome business arguably rises above the rest of the ghastliness. It relates to the zoonotic diseases carried by lions which also threaten humans.

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Cricket legend, Kevin Pietersen, on wildlife conservation

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in The Sun on 15 June 2020.

Lord Ashcroft talks to Kevin Pietersen, the former England cricket captain turned wildlife conservationist.

SIX words at the top of Kevin Pietersen’s Twitter page say it all: “Cricketer to conservationist. My greatest journey.”

And what a remarkable journey it has been too.

For two decades Kevin was one of the world’s best cricketers, playing in 104 Test matches and 136 one-day internationals for England, and also captaining his adopted country.

Yet seven years ago, shortly after he stopped playing for England, Kevin had what amounts to a “light-bulb moment” while back in South Africa, the country of his birth, when he suddenly realised he could use his worldwide fame to help endangered wildlife.

Like me, Kevin became angry and ashamed at the way some South Africans abuse big game purely for profit.

While we share a passion for wildlife, Kevin decided to concentrate his efforts on protecting endangered rhinos.

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