Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft has made an emotional call to the government to follow the lead of the US and the Netherlands and ban the import of “barbaric” captive lion trophies.
It comes as he reveals his findings from an investigation in to lion farming in South Africa.
In the year-long investigation, called Operation Simba, he claims that lions are being bred en mass, with the aim of killing them and using them in “medicine” or as trinkets in the far east – so that hunters can make a profit.
He also revealed that wealthy trophy hunters, some from the UK, pay thousands of pounds to shoot the captive animals, often from short distances, so they can be photographed with them and take the skin as a reward.
In his investigation, he followed one person, allegedly from Britain, who paid £3,000 for a lion named Simba to be released into a compound, so that he could shoot it and be photographed with it.
Lord Ashcroft also shows evidence of a text conversation he had with a British man who advised him of the best way to smuggle the dead animals into the UK.
He says the slaughtered lion skins are being brought into the country inside deer carcasses, making it almost impossible for them to be detected by customs officials.
His probe into the lion farms also showed that in the space of two days, 54 lions were killed in a single slaughterhouse, so that their bones could be harvested and sent to companies who want to use them in “traditional” Asian medicine.
Reporting in the Mail on Sunday, he said: “Dead lions, some skinned and others waiting to be skinned, littered the blood stained floor.
“A pile of innards and skeletons lay elsewhere inside. While discarded internal body parts were piled high in overflowing black plastic bags on a trailer outside.”
The harrowing findings did not stop there though, as he also discovered that lions and tigers were being cross-bred, in an attempt to create bigger, and “more imposing” animals, that are worth more to those who want to hunt them.
Lord Ashcroft has vowed to lobby the government over what he calls the “failure to close a glaring loophole” that encourages imports of lion skins into the UK.
The number of lions in the wild has fallen dramatically over the last 100 years, with only an estimated 20,000 left, compared to around 200,000 a century ago.
This time I have no own comment, but a very intelligent analysis of the hunter`s nature from: https://wildbeimwild.com/2016/12/20/jaeger-besser-verstehen-psychopathie/:
What kind of human must be one who enjoys taking the life of another creature?
At first glance, it may seem unlikely, but what if the same sick psychology that makes a man hunt a fox and shoot him, make a man invade a house and stab a knife into a human body?
These people are among us. They are military officials, veterinarians, gynecologists, dentists or guide scout groups. A whole range of factors such as genes, family relationships, education, intelligence and opportunities form a psychopath!
Neuropsychologists confirm: Violence leaves traces in the brain after a short time. The amygdala, the feeling-sorting office in the brain, is conspicuously regressed or disturbed by violent perpetrators and psychopaths. If this central part of the brain is defective, the feeling of disgust, among other things, is eliminated. The amygdala is also known as the almond kernel.
Even monkeys whose amygdala does not work properly do very stupid things. For example, they try to pick up cobras from the ground.
Some serial killers are of the opinion that a higher power would make them kill something. The cannibal Richard Chase pushed the door handles of the strangers’ homes. When the door was locked, he took it as a sign that he was not welcome in this house and left. An unlocked door, on the other hand, was an invitation: he was “destined” to kill the person in the house.
John Douglas was one of the first criminal profilers at the FBI. According to him, serial killers take “mementos” of their victims to extend their violent fantasies.
Some take jewelry or hair strands, other photos or body parts. Hunters, and especially trophy hunters, proudly present the severed head of their prey on the wall and share pictures of themselves – smiling next to a corpse – on social media.
Just like serial killers, hunters have to prove their status as a person who has power over life and death.
Trophies and souvenirs remind them of the power they once had over another creature.
Some hunters also commit murder to humans.
Why? Because hunting non-human beings was not exciting enough anymore.
“Killing people is so much fun,” the Zodiac killer wrote in one of his letters. “It’s even better than killing game in the forest, because humans are the most dangerous of all animals.”
Both types of killers, serial killer and hunter, could leave their fantasies as such. Hunters could shoot photos instead of deadly bullets.
But both decide – with enthusiasm – to take a life to satisfy their own selfish desire. They plan their bloodlust carefully and then kill again and again, with no chance of an end.
It is time for us to recognize hunting as what it really is: a pastime for psychopaths with low moral hygiene.
My best regards to all, Venus