In a shocking new report, it has been revealed that thousands of lions are being bred for the sole purpose of providing captive prey for wealthy hunters to shoot. These hunters are willing to pay up to $54,273 for the opportunity to kill a lion.
Lions Being Bred for Horrific Reasons
Not only are these lions being bred for wealthy shooters, , they are also being butchered so that their bodies can be used in medicines sold in the Far East. This story came to light thanks to an investigation that took place over a year’s time by Lord Ashcroft, a Conservative peer.
The study found that in one instance, around 50 lions had been killed or butchered to be made into medicine in just two days time at one ‘eco-farm’. They are also kept in deplorable conditions, in tiny cages. The hunters are often unaware of how the lions have been bred.
Statement by Lord Ashcroft
Lord Ashcroft made the following statement to the Mail on Sunday, “My year-long probe lifts the lid on barbaric and illegal practices at the heart of South Africa’s deeply shameful lion trade.”
“The investigation shows how up to 12,000 lions bred in captivity are destined either to be shot by wealthy hunters, in what is often a pathetic charade of a hunt, or killed in squalid abattoirs so their bones can be exported to the Far East”, said Ashcroft.
He continued, “Britain’s complicity in lion farming is also laid bare by my undercover investigators, which includes ex-Special Forces soldiers, who have exposed how hunters and middlemen from this country are involved in the despicable trade.”
Exploitation of Lions for Money
Reports show that even a lion’s skeleton can be sold for a great deal of money, around $5,942 on average for a full skeleton. The bones can be boiled down to be used in cakes in Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. Conservative estimates show that around 800 of these captive-bred lions are exported each year.
A vet at the Born Free Foundation, Dr. Mark Jones, says, “Far from contributing to wild lion protection, captive lion breeding facilities cynically exploit these animals at every stage for profit.”
He continued, “Ultimately many of these animals will end up in canned hunts or as part of the bone trade. It’s factory farming by another name.”