Hotel stands ground on anti-hunt petition


SASKATOON – A Saskatoon hotel says it won’t pull out of an exposition showcasing outfits offering African trophy hunts, despite an online petition that says the booking should be cancelled.

African Events Canada has booked space in the Travelodge for a trade show on Jan. 23-24.

The event was to have been held at the Saskatoon Inn.

But the hotel pulled out last month after trophy-hunting opponents organized an online petition bearing thousands of names.

A second electronic petition with more than 6,000 signatures from around the world has surfaced and says the Travelodge should follow its competitor’s lead.

The Travelodge says in a statement that it does not believe in “passing judgment” on any guest’s lawful business.

The petition reads: “Airline Hotels, owner of the Travelodge Saskatoon Hotel, touts its commitment to respect and integrity, yet their support of the unethical, exploitative, cruel and unsustainable trophy-hunting industry flies in the face of these values.”

Saskatoon resident Kris Williams, who started the second petition, said many of the animals targeted for sport hunting in Africa are endangered species.

The Saskatoon event is meant to connect Saskatchewan hunters with African safari outfits who also participate in trophy-hunting expeditions.

The killing of Cecil the lion by a U.S. big-game hunter in Zimbabwe last summer drew international condemnation and sparked outrage among animal conservationists and politicians.

Late last year, a Holiday Inn in Toronto cancelled its participation in a similar event after an animal justice lawyer organized an online petition.