'Canned hunting is a barbaric industry," says Gloucestershire photographer Paul Tully

3:01pm Sunday 12th January 2014

THOUSANDS of lions are being bred in captivity in South African so they can be shot by wealthy tourists on hunting vacations.

In cities throughout the world animal rights activists will demonstrate against the practise of canned hunting by taking part in the Global March for Lions.

Paul Tully, 33, has helped to organise the march in London, which is due to take place on March 15, and is encouraging people in Stroud to join him.

"Having lived in Stroud I know that people here will be shocked to learn about canned hunting," said Paul, who recently moved to Gloucester.

"It is a barbaric industry yet little is known about it."

Canned hunting is a controversial business in South Africa, where lions are bred on farms to be shot by wealthy foreign trophy-hunters.

The animals are unfairly prevented from escaping the hunter, because they are in fenced areas and because they are tame and used to humans after spending years in petting zoos.

Paul, an assistant retail manager and photographer, said: "I have always had an active interest in conservation but now I must do more, as we all should.

"Africa has always been in my heart, with so many species either close to extinction, endangered or close to being classed an endangered.

"The volunteer and cub petting industry in South Africa is a huge problem.

"Volunteers are being sent, unknowing to them, to illegitimate lion parks to care for these cubs and tourists will pay to pet them.

"In both cases, that cub will almost certainly end up in a canned hunt - a brutal end to a miserable captive life.

"The public need to be aware of the current failures in wildlife legislation that have allowed the once mighty lion to be degraded and traded as common livestock on farms of misery and horror."

For more information go to www.cannedlion.org or to take part or sponsor the march email globalmarchforlions@gmail.com

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