According to a report in Jyllands-Posten, Danish hunters shoot 15-20 so-called ‘canned lions' in South Africa each year. The lions are brought up in captivity for the explicit purpose of allowing wealthy hunters to easily kill them in trophy hunts. The hunts take place in enclosed areas and with the assistance of a professional hunter.
It costs up to 150,000 kroner ($22,500) to kill a male lion, while females can be killed cheaper. Other international estimates put the price as high as $40,000 to kill a male.
DF and Enhedslisten want to make it illegal to bring the trophy lions back to Denmark even though the practice of canned hunting is legal in South Africa.
DF spokesman Dennis Flydtkjær told Jyllands-Posten that canned hunting is “reprehensible”.
“I don't have any problem with regulating a species that is overpopulated, but this is seeking enjoyment by shooting a lion that was raised for that purpose. Not because you want to eat the meat but just because you think it is fun and can bring a trophy back home. Denmark should work internationally to have this stopped,” he said.
Flydtkjær said a national import ban on hunting trophies could be a solution, but suggested that Denmark should rally its European partners.
“This is a case that should be taken up at the EU level so we can have more weight behind a push to get South Africa to stop this,” he said.
Enhedslisten spokeswoman Maria Reumert Gjerding said that an import ban in Denmark is the logical place to start combating the practice of canned hunting.
“We should seriously look at the opportunities to institute an import ban on lion trophies […] We should do everything we can from the Danish side to stop this outrageous practice,” she told Jyllands-Posten.
Denmark's other political parties declined to support an import ban.
Trophy hunting became the subject of intense international attention over the summer after an American dentist shot and killed a lion named Cecil who had spent most of his 13 years living in a national park in Zimbabwe, where he was a major tourist draw.
The organization Four Paws recently released a video documenting South Africa's legal canned hunting industry, which raises some 6,000 lions a year solely for the purpose of becoming targets for hunters.