Africa: Safari Club International Disavows Captive-Bred Lion Hunting

Safari Club International (SCI) announced its opposition to captive-bred lion shooting (CBL) in a press release issued on Feb. 2, 2018. In taking a public position against CBL, SCI joins Dallas Safari Club, Wild Sheep Foundation, the CIC, and all professional hunter and operator associations in Africa with the exception of the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA). Released during its annual convention in Las Vegas, SCI’s statement reads as follows:

Considering that the practice of the captive breeding of lions for the purpose of hunting has doubtful value to the conservation of lions in the wild, and considering that such hunting is not consistent with SCI’s criteria for estate hunting, the SCI Board has adopted the following policy:

  • SCI opposes the hunting of African lions bred in captivity.
  • This policy takes effect on February 4, 2018 and applies to hunts taking place after adoption of this policy and to any Record Book entry related to such hunts.
  • SCI will not accept advertising from any operator for any such hunts, nor will SCI allow operators to sell hunts for lions bred in captivity at the SCI Annual Hunter’s Convention.

SCI’s announcement is the latest in a string of such announcements by hunting conservation organizations, hunting associations and numerous other organizations in the hunting industry.

As we reported in our Jan. issue, PHASA members passed a resolution making captive-bred lion CBL an acceptable form of hunting for its members. A number of organizations, including OPHAA (Operators and Professional Hunting Associations of Africa), immediately stripped PHASA of membership. South African hunting operators and PHs opposed to the practice decamped en masse, forming CPHCSA —Custodians of Professional Hunting and Conservation South Africa (

In the cover story of our January issue, we reported on DSC’s decision to distance itself from all CBL shooting.

These events have pushed leaders throughout the hunting industry to take a stance on lion hunting practices in South Africa. However, SCI could not issue any public statement on CBL without putting the matter to a vote at a meeting of its board of directors. The Executive Committee brought the matter to the board during its meeting in Las Vegas in early February.

It should be noted that SCI’s decision only relates to CBL, and not to other activities or practices of PHASA, its members, or PHASA’s Conservation and Empowerment Fund.

We strongly applaud SCI for taking a clear position on this matter. CBL has served as a rallying point for antihunters and animal rights groups wishing to tar hunters. SCI’s opposition is a major step toward dissociating the international hunting community from CBL and will help SCI to further its invaluable work in promoting conservation-based hunting around the world.