CBL – For Those who Cherish the Truth and Wish to Base their Opinions on Facts


 There has been a mixed response to the True Green Alliance (TGA) Interim Report on the Captive Breeding of Lions (CBL) Industry in South Africa. Many people are aghast at the fact that the TGA has not condemned, outright, the hunting of captive-bred lions and the sale of lion bones into the Far Eastern commercial market. A great many others – individuals and associations – however, have approved the TGA’s survey; and the fact that we have made public an objective and unbiased report on our findings.

When the very existence of the CBL Industry caused a split in South Africa’s professional hunting world some eighteen months ago, the TGA set about trying to find out just why this had happened. What we discovered was a mountain of animal rights propaganda; an equally large pile of media hype that provided biased interpretations of the facts; and a dearth of real facts. Nevertheless, the TGA has been continuously pressurised into ‘taking sides’ – to condone or to condemn – the hunting of captive-bred lions. On the information (the facts) available, the TGA was unable to do that; and we had to wonder just how and why so many people have committed themselves to condemnation. Based on what?

Nobody can have an intelligent opinion about anything unless they have all the facts-of-the-matter at their fingertips. For everybody in society to have these kinds of facts about CBL, however, would require that each person carry out, at least, the kind of CBL survey that the TGA team completed in June 2018. This is clearly not a practical proposition. The TGA, therefore – on behalf of society-at-large – carried out such a survey; and we have provided facts that have never before been available to the general public.

Our observations were evaluated by the TGA’s CEO who has very extensive big game hunting experience; who is a qualified field ecologist; who has a life-time of wildlife management experience in Africa’s national parks and wildlife management agencies; who has worked as a professional hunter; and who, for the last 30 years, has been a much respected investigative wildlife management journalist. If anyone might have been inclined to have a jaundiced opinion about the hunting of captive-bred lions, therefore, it would have been him. But he didn’t – because the facts he uncovered told him otherwise.

The TGA knows that nothing stands up better to public scrutiny than the truth. And we have provided that in our recent report. So, you now have something of substance against which you can measure your own personal preference opinions.

Armed with this kind of information, the TGA hopes that you will think for yourself with regard to this highly controversial issue.

A wise man makes his own decisions. An ignorant man blindly follows uninformed public opinion (a Chinese proverb). And the only creature that “goes with the flow” – no matter what – is a dead fish in a tidal current! Surely, you are NOT one of those?

Ron Thomson

I am NOT a ‘trophy hunter’ - and never have been. I am not involved in the trophy hunting safari business. I am also not a game rancher. But I have ‘administratively controlled’ professional hunters and safari outfitters in my capacity as a government game warden. I am an 80 year old ex-game warden with 60 years of continuous experience in hands-on wildlife management, and national park management, in Africa (1959 to 2019). In breakdown, I have 24 years experience in the management of national parks in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe - and in the management of the wild animal populations that lived inside those national parks; one year as the Chief Nature Conservation of the Ciskei in South Africa; three years as Director of the Bophuthatswana National Parks Board in South Africa; and I worked for three years as a professional hunter in the South African Great Karoo (taking foreign hunters on quests for plains game trophies). I discovered, however, that professional hunting was not my forte. I worked as an investigative wildlife journalist for 30 years in South Africa. I have written fifteen books and hundreds of magazine articles on the subject of wildlife management and big game hunting in Africa. Five of my books are university-level text books on wildlife management. I am a university-trained ecologist; was a member of the Institute of Biology (London) for 20 years; and was a registered chartered biologist for the European Union for 20 years. I have VAST experience in the “management hunting” of elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards and hippos (as part of my official national park work in the control of problem animals); and I pioneered the capture of black rhino in Zimbabwe’s Zambezi Valley (1964 - 1970). My university thesis was entitled: “The Factors Affecting the Survival and Distribution of Black Rhinos in Rhodesia”. Look at my personal website if you want any further details about my experience: www.ronthomsonshuntingbooks.co.za.

Ron Thomson has 217 posts and counting. See all posts by Ron Thomson

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