Lord Ashcroft talks to Carte Blanche, who first broadcast the Cooke Report exposé on canned lion hunting in 1997. Two decades later, the captive lion industry has expanded in scope and brutality – cubs are removed from their mothers, hand-reared, petted, then bred for the bullet or their bones.
South Africa’s new minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy, appointed a high-level panel to advise her on the next steps for this industry. Last Sunday, she released her recommendations in an almost 600-page report. The findings signal a seismic shift away from captive breeding and hunting toward a new era for wildlife conservation in South Africa.