Topics: Canned hunting
Good evening and thank you for your commitment to protecting the great, the magnificent, the majestic lions of the world. We all know these are some of the most iconic creatures. They are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN and they are subject, sadly, to a deeply inhumane practice which, on each of our watches, we have to regard as unacceptable.
In our own way we are all, all custodians of the great creatures of the world. For me, for us, for all of us here at Federation Square, the lions are an iconic reminder of the great plains of Africa, of the natural world, of the majesty that has been and I hope and pray and to which I am committed, will continue not just for our children, but for generations hence.
I want to thank, in particular, Jason Wood, who has brought the issue of canned hunting to the Parliament. I frankly was not aware that such a practice could exist in the 21st Century. It’s a hangover from the 19th Century in the 21st Century and Jason has been unrelenting. He has been passionate, he has been committed and he has been deeply factual.
Canned hunting is real. It exists. It shouldn’t exist. It is about raising the most majestic of creatures for a singular purpose and that is to kill them, to shoot them for pleasure and for profit. It is done in inhumane conditions. It is involving things such as raising and then drugging and in many cases, baiting.
It is simply not acceptable in our day, in our time, on our watch. Each of us has a certain measure where we have the capacity to make a difference. Jason has done that. You have informed him. You are part of a broader global movement and I thank you for that. He’s been backed in the Parliament by Warren Entsch and Alex Hawke, among others. But it is the people that have driven this change. So tonight, I want to announce that Australia is committing to be a leader in ending the insidious practice of canned hunting.
I have signed an order to prevent the importation into Australia of African lion parts and remains. This order will take effect immediately. It is part of the global movement and I hope part of a significant movement to end canned hunting forever. It is a practice that never had a time, but it is a practice whose time has surely come to pass.
Congratulations. Each of you has done something real and significant and important. This isn’t the end, but I hope it is the beginning of the end for canned hunting. Have a great evening. Take a moment to feel a little bit of pride in what you’ve done. Together we are doing our best to protect the great, the majestic African lion.