Welcome to Pieter Kat's official LionAid blog. Here you can follow Pieter's opinions, thoughts, insights and ideas on saving lions.
Saturday 10th September 2011
The past few days have been atwitter (literally) with lion trophy hunting.
It began when LionAid was alerted to an auction to be held at the Gala Dinner for the UK Independence Party. One of the items on auction was Lot 12: The skin, with head, of a lioness shot in Zimbabwe. (Reserve £200). Donated by Geoffrey Clark (who did not shoot it!). Current bid stands at £250.
LionAid jumped on this with many objections, as did our strong supporter, Catherine Bearder MEP. The Independence Party was invited to a BBC Radio interview with LionAid, but Nigel Farage, the Party Leader, declined. A short interview was conducted with Chris Macsween, Trustee, and the BBC put out a report on their website. An Independence Party spokesman (not identified) came back with this statement :
"We appreciate that such an item is not to everybody's taste.
In other words, the Independence Party did some scrambling – by using the word “antique” they hoped to avoid criticism of the legality of the auction item (LionAid would still like to see the paperwork on this trophy and/or a certification that it was indeed shot before current CITES legislation came into force).
We now hear from our sources that the item was withdrawn from the auction and returned to the original owner. To their credit, certain members of the UKIP also voiced strong objection to the sale as revealed by Twitter messages.
The second lion trophy hunting scandal has been brewing around Sir David Scholey. In a major article in the Sun Newspaper
(headline – “Who’s the Bigger Beast – Millionaire banker Sir David Scholey poses by the bloody corpse of a lion after shooting it for fun on a trophy hunting holiday”) Sir David is questioned about his trophy hunting activities.
Sir David was unrepentant, saying:
So there you have it. Interesting that both UKIP and Sir David immediately retreat behind the “legality” of their actions? It should be noted that Sir David was mooted as governor of the Bank of England as well as chairman of the BBC, but that was a while ago. You can see a rather scathing resume here.
There is also a rather humorous diatribe by the hunter who guided Sir David to his trophy:
"I recieved from a fellow PH out of Botswana, one of the GoldenBall brigade, about a picture on my website showing a Lion with blood around the exit wound. You see this fellow got involved in a war of words with a facebook site run by a bunch of prancey, ballet shoe wearing poofters who sneak about London and cover the famous Lion statues of London with black shrouds - they are trying to make a statement about what if Lions were suddenly gone form the earth! They used this blood soaked picture from my site to horrify the destruction we are causing to the Lions of Africa, hell you're telling them the truth, Lion actually bleed when you shoot them - DEAD!
At the end of the day, let’s hope the news stories have done some good. The British public is better informed about lion trophy hunting, and let’s all move forward from there. A good friend pointed out that if the UKIP lion trophy was indeed 50 years old, it was taken at a time when there were 200,000 lions in Africa. Thanks in part to people like Sir David, there are now about 25,000 remaining. It is high time for Zero Tolerance for any further lion sport hunting.
Posted by Pieter Kat at 15:53
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