NEWS

Big-game hunters under fire from Toronto MPP

02/07/2015 01:57 EST | Updated 04/09/2015 05:59 EDT
A local MPP is taking aim at big-game hunters at the Toronto Sportsmen's Show. 

Cheri Dinovo, the MPP for Parkdale-High Park, says she's received complaints about vendors at the annual show — currently underway at Exhibition Place — who promote hunting exotic animals like elephants, zebras and giraffes.

"The fact that tours are being sold to go on a trip to go with the primary purpose to kill these animals is pretty shocking to most Torontonians and Canadians," Dinovo told CBC News. 

A handful of vendors at the show promote exotic big-game hunting, charging upwards of $4,000 for a seven-day safari, not including airfare or trophy heads. 

Hunting some animals, such as leopards, lions and elephants, requires a permit. Others like zebras and giraffes do not. 

Hunter William Benazzi say it's no different from hunting deer or moose.

"Hunting is hunting, but one is more exotic," Benazzi said. "We're Canadians. So you know what a bear is. You know what a moose is. All of a sudden you're thrown into a world where you're hunting a zebra, lion and elephant — it's a whole new experience."

The tour operators say they're not breaking any rules in the host countries.

Dinovo says that's not good enough. 

"There are rules in other countries that we find disgraceful — like child labour, sweat shops," she said. "It doesn't mean we sell tours to those places to see a sweat shop."

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