This week the city of Las Vegas will host a large trophy hunting auction. Las Vegas is known as the entertainment capital of the world.  Those who find killing animals for their trophies to be entertaining are expected to be there in the thousands. Most of the hunts on offer are in the USA with South African hunts numbering thirty seven.

New Zealand to participate this year

This year, “Clean Green New Zealand” will be participating and the NZ Herald reported that Bill O’Leary of the New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association feels hunting is an important part of their tourist industry. All of the animals hunted in New Zealand have been introduced and are often viewed as pests. There is no huge anti-hunting lobby in New Zealand, but the organization PAWS (NZ) is active against any form of cruelty to animals.  

The Safari Club International holds the auction annually and is part of the giant Hunters Convention. Their website states that the proceeds go towards “wildlife conservation” as well as “hunting advocacy.”

Six hundred animals on offer in 32 countries

The hunting on offer explains the weapons that will be used, the destination, and the various luxury perks on offer to hunters. From 10 day safari's to kill the wildlife of Tanzania, through to Argentinian dove hunts and Saskatchewan White-tailed Deer, the choices are described as a “dream event” for hunters.

Six hundred animals in thirty two countries will be auctioned to the twenty thousand hunters that are expected to attend. The director of the Humane Society International told the press that last year that Safari Club brought in nearly $3 million from just over three hundred hunts that were auctioned.

Animal rights activists

Animal rights activists are very angry with the club, which sprang into the limelight last year when club member Walter Palmer shot and killed Cecil the Lion near Hwange Game Reserve in Zimbabwe. In South Africa there were complaints from the press in November, when it was revealed that the Ministry of the Environment was holding secret talks with the Dallas Safari Club.

In Africa, many safari companies offer hunting trips at the top end of price and luxury and they are often condemned by those who oppose hunting. The African Safari operators believe that hunting is an important management tool and it's the only way to keep local communities engaged in wildlife conservation. Much of the hunting in Africa takes place in buffer areas around protected lands.  

The threat to wildlife In South Africa caused by illegal poaching has resulted in a huge increase of people who now support the anti-hunting activists. There are hundreds of thousands of followers of elephant, lion, and rhino protection pages on Facebook who are starting to make their voices heard in the fight against hunting.  

Hunting under pressure

Hunting is coming under pressure. Social networking has brought hunting and conservation ethics right into the homes of millions of people worldwide. There are now far more supporters of hunting bans than there are actual hunters in the world.  Earlier this year protests held in the USA against a raffle to sell a lion hunt in Zimbabwe resulted in the cancellation of the hunt.

It should be anticipated that this hunting auction venue will be attended by many animal activists and pro-life reporters. Earlier this month a teenager in Canada rallied her friends and disrupted an African Trophy Hunting show in Concord. #News #Buzz