Zambia lifts ban on hunting of big cats

The big cats

Zambia has lifted a ban on big cat hunting as part of efforts to boost tourism revenues.

This decision removes the last remaining restriction on a total hunting ban, which was introduced after allegations of corruption in the Hunting industry

The total hunting ban, introduced in 2013 after allegations of corruption over the awarding of hunting contracts, has been gradually rolled back since last August.

The Government says it is losing too much revenue and is confident it now has the right regulations in place to prevent corruption within the industry.

The tourism minister is confident the population sizes are sustainable with around 4,000 lions and 8,000 leopards in the country.

Some conservationists have condemned the move, others are supportive, saying hunting can aid long-term conservation and help prevent illegal poaching.

Government-licensed hunting is common across the Southern African region, with tourists paying to shoot a small number of selected animals.

The move has been welcomed by Zambia’s private tourism sector.