Cancel African hunting expo promoting 'senseless slaughter,' critics urge

An African hunting expo that’s scheduled to take place in Saskatoon in January is the target of an online petition calling for its cancellation.

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The event, hosted by African Events Canada and African Hunting Gazette, allows African hunting outfitters to showcase their safaris and expeditions.

However, critics of the event say the expeditions promote trophy hunting.

"Many, many others probably around the world feel hunting animals for sport is not only unethical, but unsustainable," Lana Stark told CTV Saskatoon on Sunday.

Stark launched a petition calling for the event venue, Saskatoon Inn, to cancel the event.

“The Saskatoon Inn is set to host an African trophy hunting expo, which will promote the cruel and senseless slaughter of majestic animals on hunting safaris,” the petition reads.

Over three days, the petition had garnered more than 3,000 signatures by Monday morning.

African Events Canada also had hunting expos scheduled for Toronto and Calgary in January.

Last week, the Holiday Inn Toronto International Airport hotel said in a Facebook post that the hotel will no longer be hosting the event. The announcement came after a similar petition was launched by an animal justice lawyer.

Brigit Johnstone with African Events Canada told The Canadian Press that the events in Saskatoon and Calgary will go on as scheduled because she has legal contracts with the hotels.

Speaking with CTV Saskatoon, Johnstone said there are several misconceptions about hunting in Africa.

She said hunters require government permits and tend to hunt older males to limit the effect on the ecosystem. She also said some profits from hunts go toward anti-poaching initiatives.

"(Hunters) will generally keep the horns and the skin, but the meat will obviously get utilized," she said. "Whether it's for the local community or the staff of the hunting operation."

The poaching of Cecil the lion by an American big-game hunter in Zimbabwe drew international condemnation this past summer and sparked outrage among animal conservationist and politicians.

Following Cecil's death, Air Canada joined several other airlines in banning the transportation of hunting trophies.

With files from CTV Saskatoon and The Canadian Press



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