Canned Hunting

Canned hunting is a form of trophy hunting in which hunters pursue animals in a confined area. The animals have little to no chance of escape and are sometimes shot at point blank range by hunters.

Canned hunting takes place in a number of countries across the world, including the USA and South Africa, but is also increasingly subject to heavy regulation and bans. Hunters who take part in canned hunts will pursue an animal in a restricted space, with the intention of killing it as a “trophy.” The animals used for canned hunts are often raised specifically for this purpose on game ranches. Canned hunting is strongly criticised by animal welfare and animal rights organisations on grounds of cruelty, and also by many pro-hunting organisations which believe that canned hunting eliminates the “fair chase” element of a traditional hunt.

What is it?

A canned hunt is a specific form of trophy hunting in which the animal is kept in a confined area to increase the chances of the hunter achieving a kill.

What you should know

  • Animal welfare and animal rights organisations oppose canned hunting on the grounds that it is cruel and causes unnecessary suffering to animals. The Humane Society of America has called canned hunts “cruel and brutal activities,” in which the hunted animal has “absolutely no chance of escape.”
  • Lions are some of the biggest victims of canned hunting and are facing significant danger to their survival as a result of it. In some countries it is becoming extremely rare to find a male lion older than the age of three, as many have already been hunted and killed as trophies.
  • In 2005 a man in Texas set up a webcam business which allowed hunters to remotely control a gun and shoot at animals from their computers. This development was strongly criticised across many sections of the media and was viewed by many as a terrifying vision of what the future may hold for the canned hunting industry.

What you can do

Boycott travel agents, tour operators, hotels, restaurants and companies that promote or support canned hunting in any way, letting them know why you are doing so. Ask your family and friends to do the same.

Where is this applicable?

Canned hunting takes place in many countries across the world, but is particularly prevalent in southern and central African countries, such as South Africa.

Canned hunting is also very popular in parts of the USA, although it has been banned or restricted in many states.

Links to organisations for further information

This article was contributed by the League Against Cruel Sports