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A question of morality

In the wake of the controversial killing of Cecil the Lion, Peter Borchert considers the pros and cons of trophy hunting

In the preamble to a recent article posted on Untold Africa, I wrote: “Hunting, especially trophy hunting, is a topic guaranteed to get a lot of people very hot under the collar very quickly, especially among those polarised into the stridently ‘for’ camp and the often even more strident ‘under no circumstances’ camp. What is right? What is wrong? What is best for Africa?”

While writing this column, a meeting between South African government officials and representatives of Safari Club International (SCI) was taking place in a town called Polokwane in the far north of the country. For those not familiar with SCI, it is arguably the biggest and politically most powerful hunting club in the world. Within its embrace the wealthiest and most ardent of its 25,000-plus members compete to have their names inscribed in the SCI Record Book. For 60 years the entries in this hallowed tome have commemorated, in meticulous detail, the feats of hunters and the trophies they have brought down by arrow, bullet and bolt. All in the name of sport.

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About Travel Africa

12 Great adventures to experience in 2016 • Conquer Kilimanjaro • Paddle the Zambezi • Walking in North Luangwa National Park • Meet a mountain gorilla • Visit a conservancy... get off the beaten track!