Botswana intends to ban “canned hunting,” the practice in which large carnivores such as lions or other wildlife species are raised in captivity and hunted in small camps with no room for escape or to elude the hunter.
Botswana’s Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism said in a statement on Thursday that efforts are under way to strengthen legislation to ensure that this “abhorrent and unethical practice does not find its way into Botswana under any guise.”
“The Government of Botswana is committed to conserving our biodiversity; large carnivore included and does not tolerate cruelty to our wildlife in any form,” said the ministry.
The development comes after the department of wildlife and national parks in the ministry banned exports of wildlife including captive carnivores in January.
“This ban affects all wildlife species with the exception of animals kept under permit from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks as household pets,” said the statement without indicating period for the directive.
Exporting wildlife has been on the spotlight towards the end of 2013 after 22 lions in Botswana were reportedly exported to South Africa.
Meanwhile Botswana has also banned trophy hunting effective Jan. 1, 2014 in preference for photographic tourism.
Botswana believes hunting is a seasonal activity compared to photographic tourism conducted all year round and the ban is on all controlled hunting areas or hunting management units throughout the country.
Hunting of allocated quotas had been taking place in many of these designated areas, but no quota is being issued in the areas anymore.