GOVERNMENT has defended the lifting of the ban on hunting big cats in Zambia saying the population of the cats will reduce significantly.
Tourism and Arts Minister Jean Kapata said the lifting of the ban follows the government’s introduction of stringent measures to guide the hunting process.
Ms Kapata said before 2013, the laws that were guiding the hunting process were inadequate to protect the cats but now it will be easy to regulate the process and only allow for few cats to be killed.
“Before 2013, the process was not good but now we have strengthened the regulations that guide the hunting process in the hunting blocks,” she said.
The minister said people should not worry that the big cats such as lions will be depleted after the lifting of the ban.
“Previously, hunters were allowed five cats in the hunting block but now we are not allowing more than two cats per person,” she explained.
Ms Kapata further said that currently only 46 cats will be killed in the 23 hunting blocks as only two will be allowed per hunting season.
Meanwhile, Lion Aid has appealed to the European Union (EU) to place a ban on Zambia’s lion hunting imports as Zambia cannot justify commercial off take based on the country’s paltry remaining lion populations.
The organisation says it will also contact USA authorities to do the same “LionAid will now undertake an appeal to the European Union to place a ban on Zambia lion hunting imports as Zambia cannot justify commercial off take based on their paltry remaining lion populations,” the statement said.
LionAid are the United Kingdom (UK) charity working globally to save lions and end the decline of wild lion populations.
The organisation added that it estimate there are not more than 400 lions left in Zambia.