A still of trophy hunters from a World Animal Protection film

Trophy hunting


Trophy hunting is outdated and inhumane and will never be an acceptable approach to wildlife conservation

The Public's Perspective on Trophy Hunting in South Africa

As South Africa opened up consultation on its draft Conservation and Sustainable Use of South Africa’s Biodiversity white paper, we released new polling data on one of the worst examples of exploitation of Africa’s iconic wildlife: trophy hunting.

Trophy Hunting Statistics

Our new poll reveals worldwide condemnation of the cruel blood ‘sport’ and unequivocal support for prioritising wildlife-friendly tourism.

The key findings from our trophy hunting research* revealed:

  • 84% of international tourists agree that the South African government should prioritise wildlife-friendly tourism over trophy hunting
  • 74% of international tourists agreed that making trophy hunting a key pillar of policy will damage South Africa’s reputation, and 72% would be put off from visiting the country altogether
  • 7 in 10 South African citizens agree their country would be a more attractive tourist destination if they banned trophy hunting
  • Three quarters (74%) of South African citizens agree that trophy hunting is unacceptable when wildlife-friendly tourism alternatives have not been fully utilised.

Conservation and Sustainable Use of South Africa’s Biodiversity

The draft white paper from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment seek to - create a prosperous nation living in harmony with nature where biodiversity is conserved for present and future generations – this is a great start. 

Still, it falls short of clarity or tangible commitments to end the global commercial wildlife trade, including:

  • trophy hunting
  • captive lion breeding
  • and big cats for traditional medicine.

The life of a wild animal is worth so much more than a trophy

Trophy hunting and captive lion breeding treat wild animals as mere resources to be exploited for profit and entertainment, not respecting them as the sentient beings they are.

Hunting African Animals is cruel and unsustainable

We should be protecting every wild animal – not trading, shooting, or breeding them in captivity – and promoting humane and responsible wildlife-friendly tourism, which is vastly underutilised.

Rather than turning a blind eye to the horrors of trophy hunting, and exploiting wildlife as products, let’s find wildlife-friendly alternatives that can provide income for communities and incentives to protect animals without killing for so-called sport.

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