Zambia is to lift a ban on the hunting of lions and leopards in an attempt to raise funds, a move critics describe as “extremely outrageous”.
Jean Kapata, the tourism and arts minister, said profits from hunting the big cats could benefit wildlife conservation as well as the livelihoods of rural communities.
“I am lifting the ban on the following conditions: the guidelines are drafted into a statutory instrument so that they become part of the wildlife law,” she was quoted by the Zambia Daily Mail as saying. “Lion hunting should only resume in the 2016-17 hunting season and not this year. Leopard hunting can resume this year – 2015-16 season – but with very cautionary quotas.”
Rules against hunting big cats were imposed in January 2013 because of declining lion populations in some areas due to over-harvesting, hunting of underage lions and depletion of habitats. Kapata said the government’s move that year “had a good basis with a background of weak regulatory mechanisms”. But she said the suspension seriously affected wildlife resources and the livelihoods of local people in the game management areas.
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Source Credits: David Smith in The Guardian