Trophy hunting has been banned in Kenya since 1977 and the Kenyan government has always described hunting as the barbaric sport of colonialism. However, at a recent conference sponsored by a US aid agency, the topic was discussed at great length and many conservation groups were concerned that the delegates would decide to drop the hunt ban. Chris Mercer, the co-founder and director of CACH (Campaign against canned hunting), attended the conference and gave the delegates a portrayal of what he called environmental terrorism”. His talk was enough to persuade the group to keep the ban in place for now.
Human wildlife conflict is an ongoing issue. Kenya’s population is one of the fastest growing in the world and the human population has started to encroach on the boundaries of the national parks. Poaching is still an issue and if hunting was unbanned it would add to the wildlife problems the country is facing. Canned hunting is a form of hunting where animals are kept in confined area so they have no chance of escaping the hunter. The animals are raised on game farms until they are mature enough to be hunted.
The conference was arranged to get a feel for public opinion on the matter, however, Mercer mentioned that the conference was sponsored by a US Aid Agency that is reported t have close links with Safari Club International – the largest and most active big game hunting organisation in the world. The conference was attended by 160 people including the Director of Kenya Wildlife Services.