Dozens of Calgarians expressed their disgust over an African trophy hunting expo, calling for a ban on bringing animal parts back to Canada. However, an expo organizer defends the practice, saying it is heavily regulated and controlled.
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The protesters chanted and held signs outside the Coast Plaza Hotel in northeast Calgary saying they are upset about an African trophy hunting expo taking place at the hotel's conference centre this weekend.
Organizer Michael Donovan says trophy hunting is immoral.
"Basically these are wealthy fly-in hunters, going to Africa, shooting an animal, cutting its head off, bringing it back to North America and sticking it on the wall," Donovan said.
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It was a different scene inside the expo as 39 vendors greeted interested hunters with hunting and fishing trip options.
Expo organizer Birgit Johnstone says the protesters don't understand what hunting is all about.
"They think is mass murder of endangered species and that's certainly not the case," Johnstone said.
"It's very regulated, it's controlled."
The hotel manager, Karim Ismail, said he isn't taking sides but the hotel signed a contract with the exposition so is living up to that contract by proceeding with the event, although next year, it's a different story.
"Our customers also have expressed their opinions and we felt that it would be wise to have the event this year," Ismail said.
"Next year we will be doing different things and not having the same event."
The protesters are calling on the Canadian government to ban trophy animal parts from entering the country.