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Are your binoculars linked to hunting?

Feb 13

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13/02/2018 10:14  RssIcon

Links to the hunting world remain pervasive for companies selling binoculars and other optics products

Our new report ‘Shooting Wildlife II’ finds that 83% of the 30 optics companies investigated were found to have some link to the hunting world.




The report looked at marketing text and images, sponsorship links, and other company material that promoted hunting, particularly highlighting the glamorisation of sports hunts. 

Companies were not only found to advertise to hunters; their support extended to sponsorship for hunting organisations and events and employment of ‘pro hunter’ professional staff. 

Both Zeiss and Leupold & Stevens run training academies, which teach about the use of optics in hunting. In 2017, Minox sponsored DNA, the first hunting film festival to be held in the UK.

In fact, of the companies looked at 50% marketed products specifically for sports hunts. Animal rights groups oppose hunting in all forms as they uphold the idea of a 'right to life'. However, for most it is this form of hunting, for recreation or fun, that poses the greatest issues.



Trophy hunting

Hunting for trophy animals – the whole, or part of which, is to be displayed –, in particular, garners widespread opposition. In part, this is because growing scientific evidence suggests that such selective hunts pose particular issues for animal populations and ecosystem biodiversity. By selecting the animals with the largest body or antler size, for example, trophy hunters often target the strongest males, altering population dynamics and potential transference of genes in mating. 

Despite such evidence, images of trophy animals were used by many of the companies in their brochures and websites, and 7 were found to specifically target trophy hunters in marketing text (Beretta, Eschenbach, Leupold & Stevens, Meopta, Vista, Vortex, Zeiss).

Many of the companies sponsored organisations ‘protecting hunters rights’, or hunting television programmes (all aired in the US).




Join the campaign

We are asking companies to make their stance on hunting known, by publishing a policy on links to hunting. You could contact your optics company asking them to publish a policy that addresses:

  • any marketing of products for hunting;
  • the glamorisation of sports or ‘trophy’ hunts in marketing material;
  • the use of hunting imagery that contains animals whose populations have been impacted by hunting (evidenced in scientific literature); 
  • sponsorship of sports hunting events.



Download the full Shooting Wildlife report (opens as a pdf) 



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