11 Jan 2013

Hunting of lions and leopards banned by Zambia

6:07 am on 11 January 2013

Zambia has banned the hunting of lions and other endangered wild cats such as leopards.

Tourism minister Sylvia Masebo said there is more value in game viewing tourism than blood sports and big cat numbers are too low to have a sustainable hunting industry.

"Tourists come to Zambia to see the lion and if we lose the lion we will be killing our tourism industry," she said.

Ms Masebo said the estimated $US3 million that Zambia earns from safari hunting of its wild animals annually is too little to merit the continued depletion of its wildlife.

"Why should we lose our animals for $3 million a year? The benefits we get from tourist visits are much higher," she said.

Botswana has also decided to ban all sport hunting from 2014. Kenya set this trend when it halted trophy and sport hunting decades ago.