Sickening Trophy Hunting Event In Spain Auctioned Off Hunts Of Lions, Rhinos & Polar Bears Among Other Endangered Species

Photo by Katie Cleary

Humane Society International/Europe found that at least 54 outfitters at one of the EU’s largest hunting fairs, Cinegética, were selling trophy hunts of internationally protected species. The deplorable event took place March 23rd through March 26th in Madrid, Spain.

The species whose lives were up for sale, included polar bears, lions, African elephants and leopards wrapped up in special holiday packages offered at relatively low prices. Giraffe hunts were being auctioned off for 900 euros, while lion hunts were being auctioned for 4,500 euros. Other emblematic species, such as elephants and rhinos were assigned heftier price tags given their rarity and high demand. Their auction prices went for as much as 24,500 euros to 60,000 euros.

Numerous so-called “trophies,” from different species, such as African lions and brown and black bears, as well as polar bears, were on display to drive demand for these rare and iconic species. The displays were used to further boost the pathetic egos of the hunters at the forefront of the destructive trophy hunting industry.

The event also served as a backdrop for the signing of the first transatlantic agreement between Safari Club International and Cinegética to further advance the trophy hunting industry’s objectives. This newly founded “largest alliance to promote a hunters way of life,” and the claim “first for hunters,” shows their intention to remove or block any obstacles to hunting activities, including much needed legal and regulatory protections for threatened and endangered wildlife.

In addition to sales and promotions, Cinegética also had an awards show for best foreign hunting trophies. Gold, silver, and bronze medals were awarded to hunters for “achievements” in killing animals in Africa, Asia, America and Europe. Wildlife victims of the so-called “winners,” included CITES-listed species, such as cougars and black bears.

There was also a special category for animals hunted with bows and arrows, which is a strongly criticized practice. Studies reveal that the use of bows and arrows may result in a 50% wounding rate, meaning that the animals are injured, but not killed.

“It is shocking to see that Cinegética is giving a promotional platform to the trophy hunting industry and dedicating large parts of the event to the senseless slaughter of endangered wildlife,” Dr. Joanna Swabe, senior director of public affairs for Humane Society International/Europe, said in a statement.

As per a HSI report, the vast majority of Spanish citizens, 89% oppose the trophy hunting of internationally protected species. Overall, 84% support legislative change to ban the import of hunting trophies from threatened and endangered species to Spain.

Yet, Spain remains the second largest importer, after Germany, of hunting trophies from mammal species listed under CITES. Between 2014 and 2020, Spain imported at least 3,208 hunting trophies from 56 different CITES-listed mammal species. Spain also imported species that are classified as extinct in the wild by the IUCN. Furthermore, eight polar bears, one black rhinoceros, which is classified as Critically Endangered, and one tiger were imported as trophies from hunts. The number of imported species to Spain shows that there is a steady increase during this time span of more than 50%, from 367 imported trophies in 2014 to 552 in 2020.

Other European countries, such as the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and the UK, have banned or are in the process of banning the imports of hunting trophies of endangered and threatened species.

Help urge the European Union to halt the imports of hunting trophies by signing HERE!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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